Kelly McKenzie - Biography
Tell us a little about yourself…
I have always had animals in my life. I currently have Cocker Spaniels, gold fish & guinea pigs. We have chickens, a rabbit and guinea pigs at school which we look after and I take home during the holidays. I used to ride my grandads cows and sheep when I was little, desperately wanting my own horse, which I finally got at around 10 years of age.
How did you first become interested in working with animals?
I grew up in a rural town and have always had animals around me; I had several horses, an Australian Silky Terrier named Tanya, chickens, rabbits, guinea pigs and budgies. My grandparents had a hobby farm where I had the opportunity to be involved in their care he had horses, sheep, cows, goats, chickens, peacocks, geese, ducks, budgies, cockatoos, fish and dogs. It was especially exciting when the animals had babies and when it was time to shear his sheep. My career has taken me on fantastic journey from working on a number of farms to competing in dog shows and teaching young people in our VCAL and Animal Studies programs.
What do you enjoy about working with young people in the Animal Studies VET course?
I love to share the passion of being stewards of God's animals. It's important to be professional and kind to animals as we are their voice and have a responsibility to ensure their lives are fulfilling and healthy. Animals never judge and can often be a friend in time of need, a way of exercising, socialising with others. The young people I work with are keen and also passionate about learning and caring for animals. I love their enthusiasm and stories they share about work experience, part time jobs and family pets.
What do you think and the highlights of the Animal Studies Course at Covenant College TSC?
The regular access to a variety of animals in our course gives students a real hands-on experience which increases their confidence and handling abilities. They are able to think through tasks logically and bounce ideas off peers as they prepare their equipment and engage in a range of activities such as feeding and watering, capturing and handling, hydro bathing and grooming, exercising and training.
By the way…
The VCAL students I work with at Covenant College placed entries in the Royal Geelong Show in 2015 and won several awards & ribbons for our rarer show birds which was very exciting. I would like to expand the Animal Studies program to include sheep and even cows in the future. I have also been involved with breeding Australian Silky Terriers and Cocker Spaniels, and have recently started training and showing dogs and one of my dogs was named champion of a dog handling and grooming expo in July.