According to the Australian Government’s Jobs Outlook website, there arelikely to be around 12,000 new animal attendant and training positions becomeavailable across the country until 2023. A love of all creatures great andsmall has inspired an Orange local to pursue his dream career in the industry.

To get a head start, Keagan Paine studied a Certificate II in Animal Care atTAFE NSW while he was completing his HSC. His foresight proved to be amasterstroke, with Keagan gaining full-time employment at Orange RSPCA Shelteras an animal attendant soon after graduating high school.

Keagan said, “All my life I’ve always loved animals, I grew up with at leastone pet in the household.

“When I did work experience at Mulberry Lane Vet Hospital in Year 10, I knew Iwanted to work with animals, so I enrolled at TAFE NSW in Animal Studies as aTechnical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) student the next yearand the rest is history,” he said.

“I enjoyed studying at TAFE NSW more than I did studying in high school – whatI was taught was clear, concise, easily digestible, engaging and very hands-onwhich gave me the skills I needed to work in the industry.

“I absolutely love working with the animals at the RSPCA shelter. Helping themget into an adoptable state is a very rewarding experience. I treat them likemy own pets – they get unlimited love and affection.”

Orange RSPCA Shelter Manager, Rita Perkons, believes Keagan should inspireother people to pursue a career working with animals.

“Keagan has a strong work ethic, tackles all tasks with enthusiasm and isconfident with all animals that come through the shelter.

“Whenever I am seeking new staff, I look for applicants who have a CertificateII in Animal Studies or similar qualification at least. It is very difficultto find people with these qualifications and the right experience despitethere being lots of great opportunities out there.”

TAFE NSW Orange Animal Studies Teacher, Jenna McAtamney, added, “Being able towatch Keagan realise his dream, getting paid for doing something he lovesmakes my job of being a teacher really rewarding.

“Keagan is a fine example that industry and local businesses trust thetraining provided to TAFE NSW students, and the skills we provide lead toexciting, real-life employment opportunities.”

For more information on a range of Animal Studies courses at TAFE NSW, phone13 16 01 or visit

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