TasTAFE students planting the state’s future seeds

Published on: 19 Feb 2024

Group of students wearing Hi-vis clothing on the grass and water in the background.

TasTAFE and Tasmania Parks and Wildlife Service (PWS) are building the next generation of conservation practitioners.

TasTAFE Conservation and Ecosystem Management (CEM) students have been working alongside PWS staff helping to restore and improve Tasmanian natural assets at Maria Island and Mt Field on the Tyenna River.

As part of the TasTAFE Future Seeds program, students are working on a real-life habitat restoration project in a natural setting, in a relationship with PWS that allows TasTAFE to continue to stay at the forefront of the industry.

“It has been wonderful working with TasTAFE to launch this project. The students get real-life experience in the planning and execution of the project which is a great way for them to learn and also creates potential employees for the future.  Our staff have loved sharing their knowledge and experience with students and through the project we have achieved reserve management priorities in the National Park,”Katherine Hitchcock, Parks and Reserves Manager – South-East, said.

“It’s a win-win for everyone.”

Students manage the project from the planning stages, through to seed collection, propagation and revegetation.  Along the way they work closely with PWS staff, who share plenty of industry knowledge, as well as being able to provide career advice to the students.

“Our students are playing a critical role in collecting native seed to provide seed stock for future revegetation projects. Seed collection represents the start of any native revegetation project.” TasTAFE CEM teacher, James Black, said.

“Our students are able to take ownership of a project and see it through, which really helps fast-track their development. The feedback from the students is they love this approach and love working closely with PWS.” James said.

Ben Davis, a recent graduate of the course, is very grateful for his experience in the course and the opportunities it has given him.

“We had many knowledgeable and dedicated PWS staff assist with study, and also to give advice on how to go about finding employment with PWS. To be able to have access to people who have been through the process and are in the system was invaluable, and helped me secure a job with PWS myself”.

The balance of managing the impacts of previous agricultural clearing and presentation of the convict story in the Darlington World Heritage Site  will allow it to be an ongoing training ground for TasTAFE students as well as active management projects for PWS.

The project is expected to continue over the next 3 years to establish revegetation. TasTAFE students will continue to return to the site to monitor for years to come following the revegetation.

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