Horticulture trainer wins second PCA award

Leigh Taig is a Horticulture trainer at William Orr, who facilitates GOTAFE’s Greenhouse Technical Management Course. According to Leigh, “The course is essentially a masterclass in Protected Cropping and is derived from Certificate IV in Production Horticulture (AHC40416).”

Leigh attended the Protected Cropping Australia (PCA) National Conference recently in Adelaide, where he was presented with the Industry Training Award for Greenhouse Technical Management Course. The PCA is the industries national peak body, of which it’s members include hydroponic farmers and allied trades dealing specifically with the hydroponic and greenhouse industry throughout Australia.

This is the second award Leigh has won, his first award was presented in 2009 for his early involvement in promoting training pathways within the industry.

Leigh’s award relates specifically to the GOTAFE short accredited course, Greenhouse Technical Management, a technical training course in greenhouse and hydroponic production. Since its inception in 2008, the Masterclass has been delivered in conjunction with industry to over 300 participants, in more than 15 locations throughout Australia.

GOTAFE is often invited by companies to deliver the course on-farm or the course is scheduled in regions of intensive horticulture such as Coffs Harbour, Bundaberg and Perth. The model of bringing the training to the regions, enables growers and allied trades the opportunity to easily participate in the course and also provides the opportunity to customise the course to meet local needs.

Recently the Masterclass was delivered to a cohort of 15 in Devonport Tasmania, with the next course scheduled at the Hawkesbury Campus at Western Sydney University (WSU). WSU have a recently completed training and research greenhouse and GOTAFE were invited by the University to deliver the course on site. This will mean access to a high tech facility for practical and instructional activities during the course.

Leigh says, “It’s through personal involvement with the industry, and creating essential contacts that has enabled this course to be driven by industry, delivered to industry, facilitated by GOTAFE and remain relevant.”

He continues, “There is a lot of new technology and information emerging, and one of the things we do is explore these changes in the growing environment and help participants to upgrade their thinking.”

The next Greenhouse Technical Management Course is being run at Western University Sydney (WSU) Hawkesbury campus 31 July to 4 August. GOTAFE is excited to be accessing the WSU’s brand new training and research greenhouse and to present one of the largest cohorts to date, with several participants travelling from South Africa and New Zealand.

See our website for more information about GOTAFE Horticulture or contact 1300 GOTAFE.

So much to celebrate

Join us to celebrate 20 years as Goulburn Ovens Institute of TAFE in Shepparton

To mark this special milestone, we have developed a wall display timelining the provision of education on our Fryers Street Campus since the 1800’s.

We are also taking this opportunity to celebrate the achievements of our Horticultural students in developing stage two of our garden upgrade plus showcase the work produced by our Cultural Arts students this year and work developed by our students at the recent World Skills Competition in Melbourne.

You might have noticed a hive of activity at GOTAFE’s Fryers Street Campus as stage two of the garden facelift transforms our Campus thanks to Horticulture and Conversation Land Management students.

The works are being completed under the watchful eye of GOTAFE Horticulture Trainer Robyn Saunders. “The students have designed a concept which offers a more open and welcoming space in front of the campus and Restaurant,” said Ms Saunders. Each stage of the facelift relates to a required unit of competency the students must complete, including ‘Set out site for construction works’, ‘Operate machinery’, ‘Install irrigation systems’ and ‘Implement a plant establishment program’. “As a Trainer it is hugely satisfying to see our students develop such a wide range of skills and knowledge while building this new landscape. It is great to be working on a site which is highly visible, as it gives our students an opportunity to demonstrate what they are capable of firstly designing, then constructing.”

Indigenous students from the GOTAFE Shepparton Campus have been involved in a number of programs throughout the year, many of which are a contemporary twist on the traditional. “Indigenous art is evolving and this year’s cultural arts group wanted to reflect that in their pieces. While they displayed a deep respect for traditional forms of indigenous art, they were happy to explore new ways in which to express their cultural heritage and used items such as skateboards and mannequins to create works of art,” said Trainer Robyn Thompson.

The public exhibition will run from 21 November to 25 November at GOTAFE Shepparton Campus, Fryers Street, with a range of student work available for sale.