Ranging far and wide
Not many people can claim some of the most spectacular scenery in Australia as their office. But that is the backdrop for Thomas Courto, whose work at Tasmania’s Parks and Wildlife Service takes him to stunning natural environments that are the drawcard for thousands of tourists each year.
Thomas, now in his 14th year at the service enjoys an “amazing” scope of responsibilities covering track work, bushfire prevention, tourist trail maintenance and environmental management.
“One day I might be jumping in and out of helicopters, the next day I might be doing some staff training, and another might see me doing some work along the Three Capes Track, one of the most popular tourist attractions in Tassie,” said Thomas.
It was Thomas’s work in the guiding industry that gained him a foothold in the service, and his further study and training have seen him progress to doing the work he enjoys so much today.
“I’ve been involved with vocational education and training (VET) throughout my whole time with Parks and Wildlife and each qualification has given me the foundation to take the next step,” said Thomas.
He has so far completed a Certificate III in Outdoor Recreation, an Advanced Diploma of Tourism, a Certificate IV in Training and Assessment and he is on the way to completing a Business Management Degree. His dedication to his studies was recognised as a finalist in the Vocational Student of the Year Award at the 2012 Australian Training Awards.
“It was great to have that recognition,” said Thomas. “It helped to open some doors for me at work, and I became much more involved in training, induction and mentoring staff. That’s an aspect of my work that I find really satisfying.”
Thomas found the flexibility offered by VET particularly helpful in advancing his career.
“It’s possible to do a whole training package, an accredited course, on the job training, or work with a registered training organisation to set the goals you want to achieve and map out a pathway,” said Thomas. “For a lifelong learner like me that means I have the freedom to be master of my own destiny.”
Thomas’s plans for the future are to finish his degree and keep focusing on training and assessment. “As a VET Alumni member, I want to help others to achieve their goals through training, and to have the same oppportunties that VET has opened up for me,” he said.
Book a VET Alumni member
To invite Thomas to share his success story at your event please contact VETAlumni@education.gov.au.