As the South Coast continues it long road to recovery from the devastating Currowan fire, NSW TAFE is offering a free online course to help communities rehabilitate scorched bushland.
The Currowan fire burnt for 74 day and through 499,621 hectares of land on the South Coast, leaving landholders, authorities and community groups with the painstaking job of helping manage an explosion of noxious weeds during the rapid regrowth phase.
TAFE Digital is offering the fee-free Statement of Attainment in Bush Regeneration to communities in a bid to assist them in helping revitalise impacted land.
TAFE conservation and land management teacher Kelly Upton, who has worked in bush regeneration for more than 25 years, said managing the changing landscape was a critical part of the bushfire recovery process.
"After the recent rainfall in bushfire-affected areas, the bushland is starting to regenerate and with that comes seed germination and a lot of weeds and new species, which can have a profound impact on biodiversity," Ms Upton said.
"It's imperative landholders and volunteers are empowered to know how to manage the situation.
"This course is really about giving residents hands-on skills and an underlying knowledge about bush regeneration."
The course will be broken down into three units - how to identify different plants; bush regeneration and controlling weeds.
Ms Upton said the bush regeneration industry was booming and the course was also an ideal taster for those interested in a career in bushfire regeneration.
TAFE also offers a Certificate II, Certificate III and Diploma in Bush Regeneration.
"This is an employment growth area and will continue to be, with plenty of jobs in local councils, NSW Government agencies like NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service, and private enterprise ," she said.
"The course is also a great opportunity for those wanting to volunteer with organisations like Landcare."
Tammy Montgomery has recently completed the Statement of Attainment and was so inspired that she immediately enrolled in the Diploma, with the hope of using it as a platform to secure work in her dream job of park ranger.
"The course was great," she said.
"All the information was online, the teacher was hugely knowledgeable and helpful, and the practical assessment gave me a chance to put my learning into practice."