TAFE NSW graduate wins international scholarship

TAFE NSW graduate Kira Platt-Behrens has won a prestigious international scholarship to travel to the United Kingdom and grow her skills.

Kira Platt-Behrens graduated from a Certificate III in Horticulture in 2023 and is currently studying a Diploma of Landscape Design at TAFE NSW Ryde.

The TAFE NSW graduate has been awarded a $9000 Global Footprints Scholarship to help expand her professional skills.

“I’ll be travelling to the United Kingdom this month where I’ll work at the Royal Botanic Gardens in Edinburgh for three weeks, and then work in therapy gardens across England,” Ms Platt-Behrens said.

“I’m looking forward to exploring how garden design intersects with mental health and wellbeing therapy, and how I can play a role in this field.”

Opportunity

TAFE NSW Landscape Design Head Teacher, Andrew Hewitt, said the opportunity to work abroad will develop Ms Platt-Behrens’ design skills.

“Landscape design is an exciting and dynamic career, and through TAFE NSW we’re providing the practical skills graduates need to secure a great job and help meet industry demand,” Mr Hewitt said. “Kira’s success highlights how studying at TAFE NSW can help open industry doors for students and arm them with the real-world practical skills and experience they need to make a flying start in their career.

“A Global Footprints Scholarship is a valuable way for graduates to accelerate their career while fostering and strengthening industry connections. l look forward to following Kira’s journey and seeing how she builds upon the education she received at TAFE NSW to further develop in the landscape design industry.”

The gardening industry in Australia is experiencing growth, with 3000 jobs forecast to be added to the sector each year, according to Jobs and Skills Australia.

Landscape Design

Ms Platt-Behrens’ entry into landscape design came after completing an environmental science degree at university.

“I was looking for a hands-on career and always had an affinity for plants and gardening. When I discovered the TAFE NSW courses in horticulture and landscape design, I knew it was a great fit for me and what I wanted to do,” she said.

“My experience at TAFE NSW was a positive one, with my teachers supporting me to build my practical and theoretical skills and give me the confidence to venture into this career.”

After finishing her horticulture apprenticeship, Ms Platt-Behrens started working as a gardener while studying the Diploma of Landscape Design.

In addition to her role as a gardener, Ms Platt-Behrens recently gained a job at the Sydney Royal Botanic Gardens as an assistant educator.

“To be able to share the knowledge I gained through TAFE NSW by delivering education programs for school excursions and community groups at the Royal Botanic Gardens is an opportunity I’m incredibly excited about,” she said.

“I’m so glad I took the leap and studied at TAFE NSW. The courses have given me the practical skills and experience I needed to venture into this career and secure work I’m passionate about. I encourage anyone considering a career in this industry to give it a go – it’s incredibly rewarding.”

Find out more about TAFE NSW at tafensw.edu.au.

Image: TAFE NSW
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