Skip to main content
Start of main content

Student stories

A warrior for wilderness and wildlife: Meet AJ

This article appears in: Environmental Sciences, TAFE
Conservation student AJ with ute

AJ is pretty passionate about the Northern Territory. He hopes to play a part in keeping the natural wonders in his backyard as pristine as possible by studying at CDU.

Originally working in the mental health field, AJ returned to study to try and make a career out of his connection to the great outdoors.

“I chose conservation so that I’m able to understand the environment and be able to take care of it as well.”

After dipping his toes into the industry with a TAFE Certificate III in Conservation and Ecosystem Management at CDU, he’s levelling up with the Certificate IV to reach his career goals.

The perfect place to study the environment

When he’s not studying, AJ spends his time fishing, camping, biking and doing other activities that utilise Darwin’s proximity to some of Australia’s most incredible outdoor spaces.

“Just getting out in the wilderness is what I like to do,” he says, making the hands-on aspects of his course even more enjoyable.

The Certificate III was a lot of practical, lots of mapping, botany work, identifying plants, animal trapping techniques, identifying tracks, 4WDing and all that other fun stuff.

AJ highly recommends Charles Darwin University to anyone that’s interested in environmental studies or wants to get started in conservation.

“This is the place to do it!” he says.

"The Northern Territory has all the tools for you to create a foundation for your life, and CDU will provide the opportunities."

Looking ahead

Conservation student AJ in greenhouse

AJ dreams of having a job that’s truly like no other in a place like no other—his goal is to become a ranger for NT Parks and Wildlife.

I just want to make a career out of my passion, being out in the environment, in the wilderness, being able to be around wildlife as well.

His TAFE training at CDU will equip him with the theoretical knowledge and practical skills required to succeed in this highly specialised career.

“Being a ranger gives you quite a bit of purpose because we’re looking after the environment and looking after Mother Nature is quite important,” he says.

“Everything has a purpose—even the flies—and that’s why it’s a ranger’s duty to care for the environment.”

His advice for students currently in the thick of it?

True to form, it involves plenty of fresh air.

“Going into studies, no matter what your life position is, you will go through many challenges. Don’t forget to breathe,” he says.

“You think better when you have a full breath of oxygen.”

Love the great outdoors like AJ? Study Science, Environmental Science and Management at CDU, with certificates, diplomas, undergraduate degrees and postgraduate degrees on offer. 

Explore 300+ courses

Certificates, diplomas and degrees

Related Articles

Back to top