Old Collegians

Meggie Tharratt (2012 to 2013)

After Working at CBH (Co- operative Bulk Handling) in Boyup Brook over harvest I was employed at the Albany Race Club for some part time work as an Identification Microchip scanner.This job involves identifying the brands and microchips in each individual horse and making sure they are in the correct race. Through this job I was offered work in Port Hedland as a registered strapper/stable-hand for the race horse trainer, Dixie Solly.  I took this job, travelling up to Port Headland in the horse truck, camping and caring for 7 racehorses.  It took 4 days to get there and each night we would camp at a race course where we could use the horse yards.

Being the youngest and newest member of the Solly team, many of the other experienced strappers helped me learn and develop numerous new skills required for riding these large framed and extremely strong breed of horses. My work for Mr Solly was both an incredible and at times challenging, experience, as the horses we were working with are very different to the hacking horses I had previously been used to riding.  It was great to be involved in the racing industry as I was introduced to a whole new genre of equine discipline.

The team I was working with were a great group of people and I made many new friends and became extremely close to one of the champion racehorses. I really appreciated and thoroughly enjoyed the time working in Port Hedland and I was offered employment with the Solly team for ensuing year’s racing season.

I am organising to do work experience with one of the local vets with the hope of studying veterinary nursing. Through my experiences with both Denmark Ag College and being part of the racing industry I have developed a passion for working with larger animals such as horses and cattle, therefore I wish to pursue a career handling and caring for such animals.

I believe that the skills and knowledge that I developed through doing the Animal Production Systems course as well as the lessons on farm at the College will continue to assist me in my aspirations towards this goal.

I have managed to maintain contact with most of my class mates from Denmark Ag College.  We have been able to do this mainly through Facebook and we often meet up for catch-ups and birthday events. I would love to see everyone from our 2013 College leavers again and so I am really looking forward to the next College reunion or a similar event for my year group.

 

Ashley Tharratt (2012 – 2013)

After graduating from the Western Australian College of Agriculture in Denmark I was successful in securing employment with CBH (Co-operative Bulk Handling) for the 2013/2014 seasonal harvest. I thoroughly enjoyed my employment with the CBH group as I believe it was a great opportunity to use, develop and consolidate the skills that I learnt at the Denmark Ag. College.

I then decided to follow my intuition and passion for agriculture and began my studies at Curtin University, studying the Bachelor of Agribusiness.Moving away from home proved to be one of the biggest challenges that I faced as well as making the transition from a school environment, where students were assisted with their work and assignments when needed, to a University environment in which students are expected to be highly independent.  This transition was difficult at first however, at the end of semester I was pleased with my results as I not only passed my units but I managed to achieve a distinction and high distinction in some units.  I truly believe my experiences at the College as well as the skills and knowledge I attained from my studies there have helped me adjust to the University lifestyle and the academic expectations.

At the end of my tertiary studies I wish to follow a career in agricultural science as I believe it will be both a challenging and rewarding career pathway.  I would like to work on the forefront of the agricultural science and research discipline as I would like to take part in the advancement of the industry and ensure that it moves forward in a positive manner.  Although I love working with animals and livestock, the areas of agriculture that I am particularly interested in are botany and the environment, therefore I wish to be involved in the research and development of new and environmentally friendly technologies, agricultural systems and possibly new plant cultivars.

At my time at the WA College of Agriculture – Denmark I consistently enjoyed the Plant Production Systems and Conservation and Land Management courses, in particular the physiological and ecological elements of them.  My passion for plant production lead me to achieve great results in my school report and I also achieved the highest results of the school in my ATAR exams overall.  My efforts and performance in this class has enhanced my interest and enthusiasm for plant science therefore I wish to pursue a career in this field.

As our year group was relatively small and several of the students had been through previous schooling together, we were and continue to be a really close year group and have managed to keep in touch and see each other regularly.  One of the largest tests about going to the College is that all of the students are from various parts of WA, so sometimes it is difficult to all meet up. However, the majority of our year group make an effort to travel the distance to see each other and have regular catch ups.  Many of us have not only kept in touch with each other but have also kept in touch with other College leavers from the years above us.

 

Jason Sykes (2010 – 2012)

Ten years ago, I commenced my education at the Denmark Agricultural College as the landmark first ever Year 10 group. During my time at Denmark we learnt a broad range of practical and theoretical skills not easily delivered in traditional teaching styles, the way our educators taught was hands on with an expectation that you work things out for yourself; ask for help if needed and learn from your mistakes. This approach to education was a far cry from the teaching skill at my previous public school, this core method of delivery set us (Aggies) in a complete different field in regards to workplace readiness compared to traditionally educated high school students, my fellow pupils and myself to-date still believe our first day at College counted as our first day in the workplace.

The ability to deliver quality education and mentoring wouldn’t have been possible without the small group of dedicated staff. I’ve never met a group of people that are willing to be so committed to a job and put a lot of their own time into it. I reflect on this making learning more enjoyable because the people that taught us truly believe in the education they provided. During 1st Quarter of Year 12 I was student elected as Head Boy, being chosen to represent the College was a privilege and gave me another perspective on how the College operated. It taught me a set of skills not easily obtained and I believe this appointment improved my motivation to be a more considerate and empathetic person. In all, having graduated from the College has paved a pathway for my future working years, as the knowledge and social skills I have learnt during my 3 years there I now use every day.

After completion of my formal high school education I relocated to Perth and commenced work with Lightning & Surge Technology (L&ST) – specialising in lightning risk mitigation across a broad range of sectors including Mining, Heavy Industrial, Commercial, Off & Onshore Oil & Gas. This is where my previous passion for electrical / electronic systems really kicked into gear, quickly attaining skills to specify, design and fabricate complex lighting protection equipment and supporting a booming business prior to the downturn. During this time, I operated my own small sole trading fabrication business running harmoniously with L&ST.

I chose a path to increase my industry knowledge and skills, starting an Apprenticeship in Electrical (Cert III in Electrotechnology – Electrician). The company Professional Cabling Services (PCS) took me on-board, they focus heavily on Communication Systems, namely Structured & Fibre Optic Cabling. Having agreed that they would train me for 1 year and then I was to move onto a more electrically focused business, I got straight into it. During this period, I completed my ACMA Open Cabling License & Parts of Cert III in Communications.

One year later, as it would be, I received a call from a family friend (Owner/ Director) of Karratha Building Company. He offered to continue my apprenticeship with their newly formed electrical division, with consent from PCS. I said yes and within 1 week relocated 1600kms to Karratha. They threw me right in the deep end and within the first month I coordinated the installation of multiple structured & fiber optic cabling jobs. Im my words I learnt to run before I could walk. Looking back there was no better way to learn. The General & Electrical Manager created their own business and left Karratha Building, offering me the opportunity to jump across and support their new business from the ground up. I started as Communications Supervisor and after completion of my “fast tracked” apprenticeship at age 21, I was the sole Electrical & Communications Supervisor. Having tradesmen twice my age under my supervision was a challenge but they saw my ethics and ability so put trust in me. The business grew at an impeccable rate and 2 years flew by.

In April 2018, being ready to tackle this industry myself, I created Sykes Engineering, focusing heavily on communications with a side division being manufacturing. Since conception we have been active in the commercial and mining sectors mainly working for larger tier 2 and 3 EPCM businesses.

Wanting to get back to my supervisor roots, I worked for two large electrical contractors EC&M & CEM on the close to home ground-breaking Talison Greenbushes Lithium CGP2 project. Firstly being in a small QA/QC team for EC&M then moving onto the Electrical Foreman, QA/QC Lead and Permit to work coordinator at CEM, having over 100 electricians onsite.

I am now looking at expanding my business and hope to have financial success due to the potential minerals boom across the State. What Denmark Agriculture College provided me is hard to document on paper, a combined teaching approach working on the students core values and really the transition into adulthood. The person I am today and what I will achieve in the future is thanks to my education at the College. Learning is agriculturally based, but the skills learnt are applicable to all areas of employment and life. I cannot thank the staff enough for their dedication.

Madison Reid (2010-2012)

 

Hi this is from Madison Reid I attended the College from 2010 to 2012 and graduated with the Equine Excellence Award.

Since leaving the College I gained employment at a race horse training facility and started working within a week of leaving school. I worked there for over a year until in 2014 I was accepted into Marcus Oldham College in Victoria to complete a ten month Diploma in Equine Business Management.

When attending Marcus Oldham College we went on tour of breeding and racing stables in New Zealand and I had the opportunity to do 4 weeks of work experience at Westbury Stud, where I was asked to go back for the 2015 breeding season. Upon returning home I gained employment at racing stables in Capel which I really enjoy.

I think during my time at Denmark Agricultural College I developed great life skills. I’m a strong independent mature adult and I like to give most things a go.

For my future plans I would love to be involved in teaching Equine studies.

I keep in touch with a lot of the students that I attended College with through Facebook and with others through family type relationships. I loved the time I spent at Ag school and I would encourage any young person to take up the challenge.

 

Roxanne Mostert (2013-2014)

 

Since graduating in 2014  I have worked part time on the home dairy farm. I also worked for CBH as a grain sampler over the summer months. This was a great employment opportunity to experience the grain industry and gain valuable dollars heading into university. I am currently studying a Bachelor of Science, majoring in Agricultural Science at the University of WA.

While the textbook side of university is not that attractive, industry involvement and networking combined with university studies has provided a pleasant start in my first year since graduating. Only now do I realise how going to Denmark Agricultural College set me in such good stead for a successful career in agriculture. For me, I have already put both the practical skills and theory knowledge to good use.

With a passion for animals, particularly animal nutrition I am keen to further my knowledge and skills in this area leading to a possible career in farm consulting, with an open mind to other opportunities that may come along.

I have good contact with a number of ex-Aggies and current students at the College. It’s always great be involved in the agricultural shows around the state where I’m bound to bump into one of my fellow “aggies”.

Editor’s Note: Roxanne was a former Dux of the College and you can visit our News page to learn about the number of Scholarships,awards and prizes awarded to Roxanne during her time at the College including Australia’s Young Farmer of the Year.  

 

Taneeke Marsden (2011-2013)

 

Since graduating in 2013 I had a working gap year and took a holiday to Melbourne and Mount Buller. This was a great opportunity to earn some money to attend University. At the beginning of 2015 I moved into Murdoch University Village to commence my undergraduate degree in a Bachelor of Science with a double major in Animal Science and Animal Health. I love studying my course at University as I am able to learn more in areas that I have a passion for.

Having studied at the College has helped me greatly.  Being able to complete stage three courses while at Denmark Agricultural College enabled me to attain fantastic results for my ATAR,  while at the same time gaining numerous competencies which went towards my Certificates in Agriculture. I discovered that my love for horses extended into the Agriculture industry, specifically plant and animal sciences.

While at the College I gained valuable personal and workplace experiences which has given me an advantage in pursuing employment in my desired industry.  During breaks I regularly come back to the College to visit staff and students and catch up.

In a few years’ time I see myself having finished my degree and working in animal husbandry or agriculture in Australia, hopefully even internationally.

 

Maddi Meares (2012-2014)

 

After leaving the College I sent my resume out to many different horse places in Perth and I was lucky enough to get an interview with Yarradale Stud. My Certificate II in Equine and Agriculture got me an interview and I was lucky enough to commence employment in the December as a Stud hand.

Since I started at the stud I have been involved in yearling preparation for the Magic Millions Sales at Belmont. We took 38 yearlings to the sale with one of our colts topping the sales. All the bites and kicks were worth the experience!  I’m now looking forward to the foaling season to start.

I am planning on staying on for the full year to learn more about the racing and breeding industry, whilst saving some money before going to university in 2015.  I’m not sure at this stage if it will be Curtin University  or Muresk Institute.

 

Daniel Kippin (2010 to 2011)

 

Apprentice of the Year : The achievements of 10 young apprentices was recognised when the Katanning Rotary held its biennial Apprentice of the Year Award on May 19 2014.

WA College of Agriculture-Denmark graduate Daniel Kippin, diesel mechanic apprentice at McIntosh and Son, took out the award for Apprentice of the Year.

The award highlighted the commitment of the community and enabled the viability of apprenticeships to continue to develop skills in a regional area, to support industry, farming and services. There are some 29 apprentices within Katanning, which is a phenomenal achievement for a town with just on 4500 people.

Candidates came from an array of trades including electrical, building, panel beating, hairdressing, spray painting and carpentry. Selection criteria included demonstrating pride in work, effective communication skills and demonstrated knowledge and skill.

 

George Juers (2010– 2011)

 

Hi, my name is George Juers. I attended Denmark Agricultural College in 2010 and 2011. On leaving the College in 2011 I completed a harvest season as a Chaser Bin Driver. As I accepted this position, I was unable to attend leavers. Although I was disappointed in this I felt that the experience I was gaining driving a 35t chaser bin was far more valuable. The property had 18,000 acres of grain to take off so it was important commitment to make.

On completion of harvest I was lucky enough to spend time on the Murray River with my family before starting my apprenticeship with Westrac in late January. Westrac offered me a position as an apprentice Heavy Diesel Mechanical Fitter at the Westrac Guildford workshop. I was selected as Probationary Apprentice and was rewarded with a day at the V8 Supercars as a part of the pit crew with the winning team!! I am really enjoying my work as I have a variety of tasks to learn and move to a new section every week. The opportunities and diversity my job has to offer is very exciting.  Next year I will transition into 2nd year at Westrac.

Denmark Agricultural College has a wonderful reputation so having graduated from there I feel has placed me in a very good position. I was also Head Captain of the College, which gave me some wonderful experiences and confidence. The support and mentoring of the staff on a day to day basis is highly commended.

The College offered a very different way of learning that appealed to me and I found myself learning more easily and enjoying school more. Graduating with a Certificate II in Automotive, Agriculture and Engineering has given me hands-on skills and a head start, as I was able to gain credit and have my apprenticeship time reduced.

It is exciting to be out working but I hold strong fond memories of Denmark Ag and miss the fun and relationships with staff and students that I built there.

On completion of my apprenticeship I hope to have graduated as a heavy diesel mechanic and be working with Westrac on a Westrac mine site up North. I also hope to have saved a deposit for my first property.

I keep in touch with other College leavers through Facebook, texting, events and through work. I also like to keep in touch with some of the staff and I do see them on occasions when visiting Denmark or Albany.

To all prospective students wanting to some to Denmark Agricultural College “Go for it—You won’t be disappointed”.

 

 

Tyson Introvigne (2012 to 2013)

Tyson Introvigne was the recipient of the 2013 Australian Vocational Student Prize in Agriculture valued at $2,000 and was a graduate of the WA College of Agriculture—Denmark in 2013.

Tyson is now living and working on a farm where the farmer is looking to “train-up a young farmer” by sending Tyson to numerous training opportunities and up-skilling his farming expertise.

His parents thank the College for the wonderful education he received during his time at the College.

 

 

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