Horticulture students at TAFE NSW Moruya are propagating hundreds of plants which will be distributed to bushfire affected local residents in the Eurobodalla Shire.
The students donated a range of hardy, native plants that were propagated at Moruya TAFE to Eurobodalla Shire Council, which acts as a collection point for donated plants.
The Black Summer bushfires affected about 80 per cent of the Eurobodalla Shire – around 271,000 hectares – and destroyed 500 homes.
TAFE NSW Moruya horticulture head teacher Gabi Harding said the plant donations are a way to help students develop their propagation skills and simultaneously help the bushfire affected community.
“The idea came from the students, many who had been personally affected by the bushfires, and who thought if we were going to propagate plants, they should go to people who need them most,” she said.
Ms Harding said students planned the ideal landscaping and indoor plants for the local climate and then set about sourcing material and seeds to grow them.
Eurobodalla Shire Council Mayor Liz Innes said the project is a shining example of how TAFE NSW helps students and the broader community.
“This project was a win-win for everyone involved,” she said. “Not only did the students gain practical skills, they also supported our community’s recovery and helped regenerate the Eurobodalla landscape.
“These donated plants growing in gardens throughout the shire will serve as enduring reminders of our community’s heart and spirit during such a difficult time.”
Ms Harding encouraged locals to consider a career in horticulture, saying it is a growth industry that offers flexibility, independence and intense job satisfaction.
“With a TAFE NSW qualification under your belt, you can do anything from working in a nursery or starting your own garden maintenance business, to working in local government or with national parks,” she said.
“A lot of our graduates start their own business – things such as mowing services, weed and plant management, helping people create new gardens, and plant advice. It also allows you to work outdoors, and after the year we’ve had with everyone locked down, it’s great to get out in nature and rediscover yourself.”
To find out more about TAFE NSW courses, phone 13 16 01 or visit its website.