Pathways To Success: Jodie Foster
Jodie Foster gives us the run down on her learning journey with GOTAFE and what the future of dairy education needs in Australia.
Jodie Foster spent the first few years after high school working in the office but realised early on that she never had much enjoyment out of it. From there she made a change, placed an ad on Gumtree asking if anyone needed help on their farm, and her career in Dairy farming began. Jodie speaks with us about her experience at GOTAFE and what the educational sector could do to bring more to agriculture in Australia.
What led you on your learning journey in agriculture?
I hated being in the office. When I left school my family was like “well you’re living here, you need to get a job”, so I ended up with an office job and found myself stuck there. I’d always grown up around farms, so I’ve been around farming environments. I decided that I was going to put an ad up on Gumtree and got lucky.
Are you still working with the same employer today?
I was out at Colac for a few months, then I came back home. Then I was out at a dairy at Longwarry for about six years and during that time I got the job at Hico Australia, though I also work part-time as a relief milker.
You took a lot of initiative with self-learning at the start, which obviously paid off. What was your experience like when you did your Certificate III in Agriculture at GOTAFE though?
I went to the Warragul campus, and what I found when starting out was how difficult it was to find the right person to get me on the right path to finding courses like the Certificate III that GOTAFE offered. I received the number of a trainer at GOTAFE and reached out. She was amazing and really helped me throughout.
What was the course like for you? Are there some learnings that have been applied in your work today?
I loved that it was all about hands-on practices and on-farm skills which really helped with my employment. There wasn’t anything in the classroom that I haven't applied in my working life.
Do you think that there’s room for exploration of AI to be included in learning curriculums?
One of the reasons I signed up for the Certificate III at GOTAFE was the AI course that was offered and unfortunately isn’t offered anymore. There’s room for some leadership in this space on an educational front. New Zealand is definitely a model to look at with their training facilities. There are farmers that will go as far as flying to Canada to learn from the programmes offered there.
Does that just come from the lack of resources available here?
Yes, and PETA plays a role in barrier as well when getting people outside of the industry to understand why we need to do this training and its benefits.