Gold Medallion – Food and Fibre
“In Bendigo TAFE you are guided along the way in your studies. If I’m struggling, I can ask my very supportive teachers and get one-on-one help at any time.”

After many years in the corporate world, Kylie was seeking a career that offered a new challenge and a new direction, one that would also use her creative, practical skills in an outdoor environment.
“At the time I was working as an executive assistant for a nationally recognised company in the CBD and I felt I needed a change. I always had an interest in gardens and design and through my mothers’ group I met Kathleen Murphy of Kathleen Murphy Landscape Design (KMLDesign). I was keen to volunteer at KMLDesign, offering my office skills whilst in return, Kathleen would teach and mentor me in landscape design and the use of CAD (computer-aided design),” said Kylie.
“Eight months into the role, I began getting paid for the assistant design work I was doing. It’s been five years since I joined this wonderful growing company and decided it was time to broaden my knowledge and get a diploma under my wing.”
Currently enrolled in the Diploma of Landscape Design and Diploma of Horticulture, the 43-year-old said being a working mum and studying took “a lot of motivation and dedication”.
“I work three days a week for KMLDesign on top of my studies. I also have two kids – a nine and a ten year old – and assist my husband with the running of our plumbing business,” said Kylie.

“Going back into the classroom as a mature aged student was daunting yet exciting. I also live about an hour away from Bendigo TAFE so I had to be disciplined to get online and study.”
Kylie shared that the supportive nature of the course enabled her to successfully juggle her commitments.
“In Bendigo TAFE you are guided along the way in your studies. If I’m struggling, I can ask my very supportive teachers and get one-on-one help at any time. The class is very supportive and during workshops we have opportunities to share ideas, network and get to know other trades. All the theory is also online and you can work within your own time,” she said.
Kylie’s transformation as a result of her studies has not gone unnoticed. Her employer, Kathleen Murphy, highlights the positive influence Kylie has had on the business.
“This course has really transformed her mindset. She now displays much more confidence in presenting her design ideas and has broadened her understanding of garden design and its potential. This has really helped my business grow and I can say with confidence this has been heavily influenced by Kylie and her studies at Bendigo TAFE,” she said.
“Kylie is a detailed learner and I believe she has received a lot of positive support from the teaching staff, which has really brought out the best in her. As a business who is financially investing in Kylie’s future, I am delighted with the transformation this course has delivered.”
Kylie is looking forward to finishing her studies in 2017 and continuing to expand her current role with KMLDesign.
“I’ve managed to bring what I’ve learnt in school into work, such as exploring different ways of doing things, making processes more streamlined, and even engaging another student I met at CAD class to assist us with 3D imagery. I look forward to continuing to grow and develop with KMLDesign,” she said.
“Achieving this award was a great confirmation that I’m on the right track. All the hard work and sacrifices are paying off through this recognition, which is very humbling.”

Kylie Blade