Food and Fibre testimonials

Student testimonials


Rebecca O’Brien, Certificate IV in Companion Animal Services

Hully Te Huia, Certificate III in Horticulture

Rebecca O’Brien, Certificate IV in Companion Animal Services
Class of 2016 Gold Medallion – Food and fibre

“I’d tell others who are thinking of a career change to take the plunge. Do a job that you love every day.”

As someone who’s always loved animals, Rebecca knew that carving a new future in animal services was something she needed to do.

“I worked for five years as a traffic controller but I’d always had a passion for animals and wanted to do something to make a difference to animal welfare. So I started looking at courses and chose Kangan Institute because its flexible structure would allow me to work while studying,” she said.

Being able to successfully juggle work and studies was something Rebecca sees as a personal feat.

“It was a big thing to come back to school after ten years, but Kangan Institute provided a really friendly and helpful learning environment,” she said.

“Working and studying at the same time was one of my biggest achievements. I worked up to seven nights a week and I had to find the time to fit in assignments and work placements. My employer and teachers were very helpful and accommodating.”

Rebecca, who also spends her free time volunteering at her local vet and animal friendly events like the Royal Melbourne Show, says her course has fully prepared her for a career as an animal attendant.

“As part of the course, I did a placement at a dog day care centre gained a lot of hands on experience. The course has made me confident and ready to take on new challenges. I’m now able to go out, get a job and know that I’ve got the skillset and knowledge to handle situations,” she said.

Her advice for other people contemplating a career change? Just go for it.

“I’d tell others who are thinking of a career change to take the plunge. Do a job that you love every day. I was a bit scared to take the leap but it’s really paid off,” she said.


Hully Te Huia, Certificate III in Horticulture

When Hully Te Huia first enrolled in Kangan Institute’s horticulture certificate course, he didn’t realise that he’d be planting the seeds to a successful career in garden maintenance.

The Certificate III in Horticulture graduate now owns his own gardening business, Never 2 Late Horticulture, where he works with clients to redesign their gardens and create delightful outdoor spaces for enjoyment.

“Horticulture is about working with nature, and understanding that there is a safe and friendly way to restoring our environment. I love how the birds and bees interact with nature and the elements that bring wealth and healthy living to our wonderful planet,” said Hully. Awarded Kangan Institute’s Horticulture Student of the Year earlier this year, Hully had returned to studies after retiring from work as a wool scourer.

“I retired but I thought, I’ve got to do something, and horticulture was something I’ve always wanted to do,” he said.

The 66-year-old said that his time as a student at Kangan Institute’s Broadmeadows campus was a delight over the six-month course.

“My time at Kangan Institute has been the highlight of my life. With my assignments in hand and eager to see what was in store for my next encounter, I wouldn't miss it for all the tea in 'China',” he said.

“I couldn't believe that I had been given the opportunity to experience a lifelong dream made possible with the help of my teachers.”

Hully is a keen believer of learning, no matter your age or background. “Winning student of the award has made me realise that you must never assume that you're too old to learn. All you need is passion and a belief and determination that you can do it,” he said.

“I found it challenging at times after being away from a classroom situation for so many years. However I feel very humbled and privileged to have won this award.” To Hully, his work is more than a career. It fuels his inspiration and passion in environmental sustainability.

“Through this course I have come to understand how important our environment is and that as individuals we need to take responsibility for it,” he shared.

“The garden –whether I’m just enjoying sitting in it or working in it – is such a contemplative space and good for the soul.”

To find out more about our horticulture programs visit our horticulture page here.