HVTC 40th Anniversary - Kirsten Eden

Since completing her apprenticeship in Production Nursery through HVTC Sydney and Sutherland Shire Council in 2016, Kirsten Eden has continued her career in the Horticultural industry and moved to the Northern Territory to pursue her passion through a position with local government.

Kirsten grew up around nature, with both her parents and grandparents being avid gardeners. As she progressed through school, Kirsten wasn’t interested in going to University as she wanted a more hands-on pathway.

“I had a lack of interest in average classroom studies, it just never really captivated me. I loved the idea of working and learning at the same time, as well as having the chance to earn a wage while doing that. I knew I didn’t want to go to University.”

The opportunity to explore her passion and work with Sutherland Shire Council is something that Kirsten was really excited about, so she went for the apprenticeship and commenced in early 2013.

“I was really keen to develop my skills and knowledge in that area, and Council was really into that bush regeneration, land management and horticulture side of things that really aligns with my values, so I decided to go for it.

“I am grateful for the people I met and the opportunities that my apprenticeship has given me. Having constant support from HVTC was really great.”

Since completing her apprenticeship in 2016, Kirsten has had a few different positions. She initially stayed on in a permanent position with Council for 2 years before moving on to working for a private organisation, and later undertaking horticultural duties at a cemetery.

Kirsten now works as a Municipal Services Supervisor for the East Arnhem Regional Council in the Northern Territory.

“It was a big change to move up here, but I am still working in the horticultural field and enjoying it. I am working as a Municipal Services Supervisor in Umbakumba, where I supervise a team of 5 Indigenous men and work on roads, organise ceremonial events, and undertake general horticultural duties. We do a bit of everything, really.”

A highlight of Kirsten apprenticeship was being named the 2016 Woman in Non-Traditional Trade Apprentice/Trainee of the Year at the HVTC Excellence Awards, as well as progressing as a finalist for Apprentice of the Year in the NSW Training Awards.

“It was just great to be acknowledged for my hard work, especially being a woman in a male-dominated trade. It was also cool to be standing with other young apprentices, including Indigenous apprentices, and seeing how well they were all doing. It was empowering.

“I think apprenticeships and traineeships are fantastic. It means you don’t have to go to Uni and gives you more of a practical pathway into a career. It was just the perfect option for me to pursue my passion and I would suggest an apprenticeship to anyone.”

Kirsten Eden