VET course leads to vet career

30 June 2024
Woman holding black cat
Daisy Brown holding a cat at her job

By Tiahna Fiddling

For Daisy Brown, a unique connection with animals has paved the way to a career in the veterinary industry. 

In 2023, Daisy completed CQUniversity’s Certificate II in Animal Studies through the Start TAFE Now (STN) program.

The STN program allowed the teenager to combine her high school studies as student at Charters Towers School of Distance Education, with CQU TAFE’s vocational education and training (VET) course. 

Having been diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder in primary school, Daisy’s mother Gillian Brown said they struggled to find an education pathway that was right for her. 

“CQU gave Daisy the opportunity to combine her love for animals with her academic pursuits in an inclusive and adaptive educational environment, tailored to her needs.

"Daisy has always had a very special relationship with animals, particularly horses and dogs," said Gillian. 

"They have been the gateway to helping her communicate and gain confidence in a world that is often confusing and scary for her.”

With the support of her family and educators, Daisy has demonstrated how accessible education can cater to all backgrounds and abilities

"We used Daisy’s high school years to explore employment opportunities and create a seamless transition from Year 12 to working life in a job that is a perfect fit for her,” Gillian explained. 

“The hands-on training and placement opportunities even provided valuable skills for greater employability.” 

Woman in nursing mask and cap with cartoon cats
Daisy Brown in vet nursing uniform

After a successful work experience placement at a local veterinary clinic, Daisy was offered a Saturday morning job which evolved into an ongoing position of 17 hours a week.

“Tasks at work include bathing dogs in the hydro bath and providing laser treatment, pre and post-operative care, and general animal care,” Gilian explained.

“Her dream is to become a vet nurse and she is well on her way to making that dream a reality.”

The Certificate II in Animal Studies is a prerequisite for vet nursing, proving a pathway for Daisy to continue her studies in a Certificate IV in Veterinary Nursing.

Gillian said Daisy’s story is a testament to CQU's VET pathways in helping anyone achieve a fulfilling career.

“Seeing Daisy's progress has been incredible,” Gillian said.

“While her journey hasn’t been without its challenges, with the right support and a lot of determination, she has overcome them and continues to thrive.”

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