Knowing he didn’t want a trade that kept him indoors, he explored what career options were available while in high school, where he completed certificates in landscaping and rural operations while working at Brisbane’s Victoria Park Golf Course.
“Studying outdoor trades and working in greenspaces opened my eyes to the vast opportunities that horticulture offers,” explains Brady.
“I love that my “office” is anywhere outside each day. I also get a real sense of accomplishment from the physical work that comes with working in horticulture.”
Brady is currently an apprentice with Brisbane City Council, helping to revegetate bushland around the greater Brisbane area with native species, while he studies a Certificate III in Parks and Gardens (AHC31016) with the ultimate goal of becoming a team leader.
“I’m part of a crew that goes in, assesses an area and clears out the pest plants and invasive weeds. We then plant native trees that are beneficial to the environment and animals while ensuring that any waterways are flowing effectively,” explains Brady.
“By identifying which trees and plants to keep and which need to go we benefit the health of the area, stabilise the creek banks and maintain the health of the area until it’s flourishing.”
Part of his apprenticeship sees Brady down his tools to study his Certificate III in Parks and Gardens (AHC31016) with TAFE Queensland in two-week blocks every three months.
During the two weeks he’s immersed in learning new skills in machinery, turf management, irrigation systems and plants and pests to take back to his job.
“Studying with TAFE suits my learning style. The teachers make it easy for me by balancing the theory with the practical and I learn well when I’m using my hands,” continues Brady.
“We’ll spend half of each day in class learning about pests, diseases and weeds then we’ll go out into the campus and find the pests, diseased trees or plants and invasive weeds where we examine them and learn.”
Brady credits the collaborative learning environment created by his teachers and classmates with helping him to learn about horticulture and pass his assignments.
This collaboration is complemented by the facilities at TAFE Queensland’s sprawling Grovely campus, which is home to a large variety of plants and trees, a large nursery, turf plots, cricket pitch, golf green where students learn all aspects of horticulture.
“Studying horticulture with TAFE Queensland is great because I’m not sitting in a classroom and having a bloke talk to me all day. At Grovely, we can just walk out of the classroom and get into it.
“I recommend anyone wanting to get into horticulture to study with TAFE Queensland. Its hard work and you have to deal with the heat, insects and wildlife but if you have a lot of energy and are not interested in working indoors all day, you’ll enjoy it,” concludes Brady.