Nathan Turner

2022 NSW Training Awards VET in Schools Student of the Year for Central and Northern Sydney Region

Certificate III in Tourism

Passionate about people and animals, Nathan used VET to roar into his dream job at Taronga Zoo.

When I discovered that I could study vocational subjects at school in line with my passions, I jumped at the chance.

Nathan's biography

“There are two things I am passionate about, people and animals. I’ve had a dream since I was a child of working at Taronga Zoo,” says Nathan. 

Dedicated to turning his dreams into reality, Nathan embarked on TAFE-delivered Vocational Education and Training (TVET), studying  a Certificate III in Tourism with his employer Taronga Zoo. 

Nathan has been an active member of the Taronga Zoo family from a young age.

“’Ive been involved with Taronga since I was 13, starting in the Youth at the Zoo volunteer program, then progressing to YATZ Leader and a Volunteer Zookeeper in Taronga’s Wildlife Hospital.”

Through the practical component of his Certificate III in Tourism, Nathan commenced an internship with Taronga’s Tourism, Trade Sales and Contact Centre team, allowing him to experience a different side of the Zoo’s operations, and expanding his skills, experience and confidence.

“I was able to attend meetings at Tourism Australia’s ATE conference between Taronga and international industry experts and was involved in live crosses and webinars between Taronga and international travel and tourism agencies.”

Applying confidence, passion, wisdom and tenacity to every task, Nathan has flourished during his TVET and feels proud of what he’s achieved.

 “Being able to work with animals, contribute to conservation and learn about tourism has been incredibly interesting and rewarding, especially being able to do it at a world-renowned tourist attraction and world leading conservation organisation.”

“My placement was an important aspect in giving me the confidence to apply for the role of Guest Experience Officer with Taronga’s Operations and Education teams, a role which I am now enjoying immensely. I have also gone on to become an Emergency Warden and First Aid Officer at Taronga.”



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