I have always had animals in my life. I currently have Cocker Spaniels, gold fish & guinea pigs. We have chickens, a rabbit and guinea pigs at school which we look after and I take home during the holidays. I used to ride my grandad's cows and sheep when I was little, desperately wanting my own horse, which I finally got at around 10 years of age.
I grew up in a rural town and have always had animals around me; I had several horses, an Australian Silky Terrier named Tanya, chickens, rabbits, guinea pigs and budgies. My grandparents had a hobby farm where I had the opportunity to be involved in their care he had horses, sheep, cows, goats, chickens, peacocks, geese, ducks, budgies, cockatoos, fish and dogs. It was especially exciting when the animals had babies and when it was time to shear his sheep. My career has taken me on fantastic journey from working on a number of farms to competing in dog shows and teaching young people in our VCAL and Animal Studies programs.
I love to share the passion of being stewards of God's animals. It's important to be professional and kind to animals as we are their voice and have a responsibility to ensure their lives are fulfilling and healthy. Animals never judge and can often be a friend in time of need, a way of exercising, socialising with others. The young people I work with are keen and also passionate about learning and caring for animals. I love their enthusiasm and stories they share about work experience, part time jobs and family pets.
The regular access to a variety of animals in our course gives students a real hands-on experience which increases their confidence and handling abilities. They are able to think through tasks logically and bounce ideas off peers as they prepare their equipment and engage in a range of activities such as feeding and watering, capturing and handling, hydro bathing and grooming, exercising and training.
The VCAL students I work with at Covenant College placed entries in the Royal Geelong Show in 2015 and won several awards & ribbons for our rarer show birds which was very exciting. I would like to expand the Animal Studies program to include sheep and even cows in the future. I have also been involved with breeding Australian Silky Terriers and Cocker Spaniels, and have recently started training and showing dogs and one of my dogs was named champion of a dog handling and grooming expo in July.
I currently live, with my husband, in Inverleigh on a 32 acre farm. We have a variety of animals: sheep, cows, an alpaca, chickens, two ponies, two dogs and a cat. I spent my early teenage years living on my fathers’ farm where I had the responsibility of making sure the animals were healthy, fed and clean. I have always loved the country and really enjoy working on our farm. I have taught at Covenant College for many years across many and varied subjects and have really enjoyed the challenge of using my Diploma in Ag., to work with the Agriculture students.
While I was at school my dream was to become a Vet – so the joy of working with animals has been there from an early age. We have always had pets and now have a farm, which has always been a dream.
I enjoy working with the Agriculture students as we learn together – students sharing their knowledge, experience and their passion for all things Agriculture with other students and their teacher.
The ability to learn in different classrooms – a classroom that can be a huge farm or out in our paddock caring for the resident sheep and alpaca or visiting a local producer who has a sustainable approach to agriculture or listening to a retired farmer share his passion for the land or learning to drive the TSC’s tractor and ride-on-mower. Another highlight is learning through work experience, the students have worked in different environments such as a horse riding centre, a free range chicken farm, a berry, meat and vegetable producer who runs a café, working with stock agents and many more.
Hands on and practical learning is often the best way to learn, you don’t forget the experience, the activity and the purpose of what you are doing. It makes learning real.