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Training in tree tops opens world of wonder

On a sunny late winter’s morning, Madelyn Stubberfield stood on Walpole’s iconic Tree Top Walk, looked around at the tall timbers and birds, and declared she couldn’t imagine having a better job.

Madelyn was taking time out from her traineeship at one of the south coast’s major tourist destinations to talk about her good fortune in doing a job most people would envy.

She is two months into a one-year traineeship, managed by ATC Worksmart in Albany, and studying for the Certificate III in Tourism at South Regional TAFE.

“When this opportunity came up, I grabbed it with both hands,” Madelyn said.

Loving the great outdoors was one reason Madelyn was attracted to the position, though the natural environment of the towering tingle and jarrah forests has been only part of the reward.

“The people I work with and the people I have met through this opportunity have been unbelievable,” Madelyn said.

“Turning up to work is the best feeling ever."

The sociable and affable young woman is clearly proud of her workplace, having learnt about most aspects of the popular tourist attraction in a few weeks, and pointed out some of the most interesting specimens as she walked through the forest. She also enjoys seeing the native wildlife – possums, bandicoots, phascogales and quokkas, all of which emerge from the undergrowth at dusk – and the show of wildflowers.

Madelyn has already progressed to conducting tour groups around the site, sharing her new-found knowledge with people of all ages and from all over the world.

Tree Top Walk business manager Julie Ross said it was the first time they had offered a traineeship and invested in a young local person.

“It is important that we look at opportunities for our young people as they are our future and the involvement of Madelyn at the Tree Top Walk has been a positive move for us.

“Madelyn’s enthusiasm and work ethic is infectious and we are looking forward to working and supporting her as she develops her skills and networks in the industry.

“She has a very bright working future ahead of her and we wish her the best for her working career.

“We are proud to be part of the journey.”

Madelyn said her South Regional TAFE lecturer also gave her excellent support, visiting and keeping in regular contact with her.

“All the people I work with and talk to are amazingly helpful,” she said.

At the end of her traineeship, Madelyn hopes to remain at the Valley of the Giants, which is run by her host employer, the Department of Biodiversity, Conservation and Attractions.

In the meantime, she is looking forward to witnessing the changing seasons in the forest, tackling the busy summer tourist season and continuing to learn the many aspects of the position.

To find out more about traineeships at South Regional TAFE, visit the Apprenticeships and Traineeships web page.


Page last updated September 11, 2017