Create your future.

Student Stories

Stephanie Nedosyko - Certificate III in Horticulture and Certificate III in Permaculture

Having grown up in Adelaide, at the age of 24 I made the decision to leave, in search of the subtropics, sunshine and a new way of life. I luckily ended up in the Byron Shire.

I studied Certificate III in Commercial Cookery back in 2015, and since been working as a Chef. But the fast paced, high pressure Cheffing lifestyle has definitely taken its toll on my body and my mental health. Sadly making me lose interest in cooking. Fortunately throughout the Covid lockdown, I was able to spend more time in the garden and found my passion for growing high quality, nutritious, organic foods and living more self-sufficiently, not relying on the big chain stores.

Originally tossing up between studying Permaculture and Horticulture, I knew I wanted to learn about plant identification and plant physiology, so I’m glad I chose Certificate III in Horticulture. Best decision of my life to go back to studying as an adult. The fact that the course was fully funded by the government was a big motivation to study this course.

I went from working fulltime, down to 3 days a week, studying 2 days a week and I really struggled juggling work life and the school load.The biggest highlight of the course was the connections and lifelong friends I have made. We had so many laughs over the year. Going through the floods together definitely made us closer as a group. The teachers were absolutely FANATSTIC! Each being so unique and individual, and brought with them a different style of teaching/learning. After completion I actually really missed my teachers. Studying started to bring back my passion for cooking and I realised I can incorporate cooking and gardening/ Horticulture into my future.

The dream is to have a paddock-to-plate situation, incorporating locally grown organic produce, local wines and ethical meats. Bringing the community together for beautiful feasts.My greatest achievement would be just completing the course! I thought I wouldn’t make it at many stages along the way. Reaching out to Kat in Student Support eased so much of my stress and anxiety. If you feel overwhelmed or that you are falling behind, reach out. Kat and Di are fantastic! They really want you to succeed 🙂 After completing Horticulture I was very eager to continue my studies, so I decided to enroll in Certificate III in Permaculture with Byron College.

To those thinking about studying this course or any at Byron Community College, DO IT! Best decision of my life.