TWEED Shire Council gardener Deborah Wormald is blooming in her chosen field, winning a top award for horticulture studies at Wollongbar TAFE.
Deborah was awarded the Primary Industries and Natural Resources Faculty Award for 2004 for her outstanding performance in a three-year Certificate III in Horticulture course which she completed last year.
At the recent Awards of Excellence presentation evening, Deborah was honoured for achieving 22 distinctions for 22 graded subject units; her commitment to quality work of the highest standard; her classroom work ethics, honesty and willingness to learn and her enthusiasm and teambuilding skills during the course.
Teachers, staff and fellow students from Wollongbar TAFE's Horticulture Department nominated Deborah for the award.
Deborah, 48, has been working as a labourer at Council's Lundberg Drive nursery in Murwillumbah since 1998.
She's a late bloomer, having spent many years raising two sons before starting out on a career of her own and was thrilled to find a job which matched her interests.
"I've always been a major gardener, the third generation of gardeners in the valley," Deborah said.
With her sons grown, Deborah was able to put all her energies into her studies, which required her to take one day off a week without pay to attend classes at the TAFE college.
"I'm a total nerd - if they ask me to review something I'll read everything on it. I love research, I love assignments," she said.
"I'd encourage anyone to get out there and give it a go," she said.