A former Moruya jeweller has anchored his career in new waters, pursuing his passion for maritime with the help of TAFE NSW.
More than two decades after studying to be a jeweller at TAFE NSW Design Centre Enmore, father-of-two Adam Rehardt decided to nail his colours to a new mast, completing a Certificate II in Maritime Operations under the guidance of TAFE NSW Moruya teacher and legendary local seaman Captain Col Tritton.
Mr Rehardt is volunteering at Marine Rescue NSW to build up his sea hours as he sails towards a full-time career in maritime.
The Australian maritime sector has an estimated annual revenue of $6.88 billion, according to the Australian Industry Skills Committee, with the industry’s 7700 professionals averaging a gross weekly salary of $2123.
Mr Rehardt worked as a jeweller in his family store, The Moruya Jeweller, before purchasing the business from his father in 2007. The born-and-bred local closed the store in 2019 and then completed his TAFE NSW certificate.
“I’ve always been around the ocean and into scuba and free diving, and I’m also very passionate about the environmental side of the ocean,” he said. “I was looking through a TAFE NSW brochure one day and saw the maritime course and just enrolled on the spot.
“To learn under Captain Col was awesome. The course was so hands-on and he has a thirst for passing on as much knowledge as he can so that I can relaunch my career.
“He helped me get a voluntary position at Maritime Rescue which allows me to drive a multitude of vessels in different situations and to also give back to the community.”
Mr Rehardt hopes to use his training and experience to secure a maritime position with NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service.
Captain Tritton, who has almost 50 years’ ocean experience as a navy diver, customs official and with the water police, said the Certificate II in Maritime Operations allows graduates to take a commercial vessel up to 15 miles out to sea.
“This is a commercial ticket which means graduates can find work in a number of areas, including on charter boats doing fishing trips or whale watching tours,” he said.
“Adam was a fantastic student and it’s great to see him furthering his experience and contributing to the community through Marine Rescue.”