It was a love for animals, that encouraged Inverell girl Amber Dennis to follow her calling in life by developing new skills caring for all things great and small.
Determined not to let Cerebral Palsy get in the way of realising her dreams, Ms Dennis enrolled and is now part-way through a Certificate II in Animal Studies through TAFE Western Connect.
The course allows her to study from the Inverell campus and connect with teacher and peers in Tamworth by video.
"I'm really enjoying learning about animals and acquiring new skills without having to travel to Tamworth for face-to-face lessons with my teacher.
"I also attend TAFE Inverell every week for extra online lessons and undertake research for my assignments.
"The course is helping me to not only learn about animals, but to develop my computer and customer service skills.
"I'm really grateful for the assistance I receive from the teachers and support staff at TAFE and love being able to use them in the workplace."
Inverell Barnyard owner, Danielle Leard, said local staff have really enjoyed having Amber as part of the team for the past six months.
"Amber's role is to make sure the animals have food and water, clean the cages as well as wash and help groom the dogs, which you can tell she really enjoys.
"She works at the Barnyard for two hours, two days per week with the assistance of her carer and it's wonderful to see how much joy working with animals gives her," Ms Leard said.
TAFE animal studies teacher, Amanda Lord, was full of praise for Amber's commitment to her studies despite the challenges she has to overcome.
"Amber's love and passion for animals shines through in her studies and work placement that she is currently completing at Inverell Barnyard.
"It's also perfect timing for Amber to be learning job-ready skills in the animal care industry with the Australian Government Jobs Outlook report revealing the likelihood of more than 12,000 job opening over the next five years Australia-wide."
TAFE NSW has a range of animal studies courses available for semester two enrolment
. Visit www.tafensw.edu.au or phone 131 601 for more information.