“What do you do?”

The question “What do you do?” is a very common one that is used regularly within our interactions.  It is interesting though isn’t, because we invariably receive a multitude of answers be it: ‘I’m a Project Manager’ or ‘I’m a Vet’ or ‘I’m a Lawyer’.  I always wonder what it is that we all DO in our jobs…what are all those menial tasks that we complete on a daily basis?

The question is quite an obligatory one though don’t you think?  Much like the question: “How are you?”  We don’t really want the full-blown version of how they really are…”Well I have had a cold, and then I had the mumps and then I….”.  Enough already!  We just tend to answer “good thanks” regardless of our health at the time.

I always like delving deeper and finding out exactly what it is that my friends do professionally.  So, this week I thought I would share with you what I DO at work.

I am a Vocational Teacher at an institute called The Tasmanian Polytechnic.  I have been working here for the past 10 years (eek) and coordinate a course called Eco & Adventure Tourism (Guiding).  Sometimes when I provide this answer to the above question, I see the glazing of the eyes.  Put simply, I coordinate a full-time, one year course which teaches adult learners to become professional outdoor adventure tour guides.   Tour Guiding Brochure

But what do I actually DO?

Well, my role has changed quite a bit this year, as I have returned to work part-time and now job-share with my colleague, Alex.  Each year in November/December I interview potential students who are competing for the 20 places in the course.  In some cases we have over 40 students vying for the opportunity to study, which is great position to be in.

In December/February, I am engrossed in the planning of the course and finalising the timetable.  I love this part of my job and overcoming the logistical obstacles that present themselves.  Confirming lecturers, guest presenters, classrooms, buses, field trip bookings, tours and equipment certainly keeps me busy.

When the course starts in February, I spend most of my time teaching and assessing specific units and then I provide a ‘pastoral care’ role for my students.  I teach every Monday and arrange numerous guest presenters who come in and chat to my students about their tourism operations.

The students have numerous Field Trips which include:

  • Mt Field National Park
  • Bruny Island
  • Port Arthur
  • Recherche Bay
  • Maria Island
  • Freycinet National Park

Even though I love being home with Poppy, I actually do miss taking the students out in the field, where so much of their learning occurs in the ‘outdoor classroom’.

In July the students have a two-week break, and then start their Certificate IV Tourism (Guiding).  This course has a real focus on outdoor ‘hard’ skills which include:

  • Bushwalking
  • Sea Kayaking
  • Mountain Biking
  • Navigation
  • Search & Rescue
  • Wilderness First Aid
  • Outdoor Leadership

The students spend 70% out in the field for the second part of their year, and include trips to:

  • Fortescue Bay/Tasman National Park
  • Central Plateau
  • Freycinet National Park
  • The Overland Track
  • The Walls of Jerusalem

The best thing about my job are the industry partnerships that have been formed over many years.  All of our graduates get snapped up each year and are employed as guides with tourism businesses in Tasmania, interstate and overseas.  Our program won a Tasmanian Tourism Award in 2009 for Tourism Education & Training.

Here are some of my other favourite photos of ‘my office’!

So, hopefully this has shed a little more light on what I get up to when I am ‘at work’! xx


  1. Sneaky Peek : Rafting | The Poppy Files - Wednesday, 7 November 2012

    […] is a sneaky peek into my pre-Poppy work.  In 2010, we took our Certificate IV Tourism (Guiding) students on a two-day rafting trip down the Picton and Huon Rivers in Southern Tasmania.  I am no […]

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