Create your future.

Student Stories

Tillie Angel De Wilde - Certificate III in Horticulture and Certificate III in Permaculture

After years of working in an office environment and not feeling like it was the right fit for her, Tillie met someone with permaculture experience who planted a seed that resulted in gardening and permaculture becoming her big passions. Later, upon hearing about the courses at Byron Region Community College, Tillie decided to take that passion and turn it into something more, a meaningful career.

The journey began in 2021 with a Certificate III in Horticulture to make the dream into a reality. Not having done any study since leaving school, she was a bit nervous, but quickly established herself as a hardworking student with a sunny outlook. In 2022, the learning journey continued with a Certificate III in Permaculture and Tillie knuckled down again to gain a second qualification. The fact that she managed this given what 2022 brought our community is worth a mention.

In the days following the 2022 floods, the College was in the process of contacting its Certificate course students to see if they were safe when, scrolling through some media photos of flood evacuees, out popped a familiar face. Wet, tired, holding a beloved pooch and newly rescued by boat – was a face that despite everything was still smiling. It was Tillie!

The photo prompted an immediate call from Student Support, and this was Tillie’s response: “Thank you so much for your message. We lost our home in the Lismore flood, but we are fine and feeling so loved and supported by our amazing community! I cannot wait to get back to the College for a bit of normality and to be surrounded by people and a subject I absolutely love. Please let me know if there is any way I can help the College get back on its feet.”

Fast forward another year and Tillie is even closer to her career dreams being actualised; she’s now enjoying the challenge of a Certificate IV in Permaculture. She says “Lauren (her trainer) is amazing and I’m learning so much from her. What I love about studying at Byron College is that the teachers are super passionate; they live what they teach. The personal attention they give students and knowing I can go up to a trainer with any questions makes all the difference.”

We feel very blessed to have students like Tillie studying with us at the College.