Mansfield resident Michael Saunders left a career in the film industry to follow a desire to get back to his roots in the country. Michael had grown up on a small farm near Benalla and the time was right for his young family to take on a tree change.
Michael explored the idea of a new career and having a keen interest in the natural environment started the Diploma of Conservation and Land Management with GOTAFE in 2009. “I wasn’t ready to launch into a degree and the Diploma was just right as I was working full time in parks and gardens with the Mansfield Shire.”
“It was challenging but using RDOs and accrued leave I was able to attend the one-day-a-week classes. The course was like a tonic each week, I was studying with a group of tremendous people, with fantastic teachers with great industry knowledge.”
“I was able to develop my skills practically by presenting a project to the Shire for improving recycling points and some of my recommendations were adopted. It was rewarding to see the project acted upon,” said Michael.
Michael is now employed by GOTAFE to facilitate the Certificate II in Conservation and Land Management with the National Green Jobs Corp which is a federal government initiative to provide skills for job seekers. “My first week was pretty nerve wracking! Being able to push everyone’s learning, including my own, is challenging but also satisfying.”
Michael plans to complete his Certificate IV in Training and Assessment and has been encouraged by the GOTAFE trainers to go on a complete a degree at Charles Sturt University. After that he is considering a career with GOTAFE or the Department of Sustainability and Environment.