Meet our awardees: 2017 Horticulture Awardee Joel Smith
Meet Joel Smith, one of our 2017 Awardees for Horticulture who has recently left Australia to travel and work in Europe for six months.
How did you get interested in horticulture?
I grew up outside Coffs Harbour on a property and naturally became interested in the land and horticulture. My particular interest was regeneration – my family had a big focus on using nature to regenerate our land and I felt there was a lot more to learn in this area. When I finished school I couldn’t think of anything else I’d rather do.
What courses and professional qualifications did you do?
I was very fortunate to get my apprenticeship at Taronga Zoo in a really supportive team who helped to nurture my skills. I saw the job online and applied for it despite the fact I knew it would mean moving from Coffs Harbour to Sydney – it was just an opportunity I couldn’t pass up. Now I am studying a Cert III in Horticulture Park and Gardens alongside my apprenticeship.
How did you hear about BBM Youth Support?
One of my supervisors at Taronga Zoo, Wendy Kinsella, heard horticulturalist Graham Ross his radio show and recommended to me that I apply. I thought the opportunity looked amazing and was keen to get my application in.
What advice do you have for anyone wanting to follow in your footsteps?
Horticulture is a changing industry and one that needs young people to grow. I would suggest other young people follow their interests and passions – you never know where it will take you. And always remember to put yourself out there for opportunities – if you don’t look for opportunities you’ll never get them!