Deb Porter had more than a vocational interest in Renewable Energy Technology before she enrolled at Melbourne Polytechnic. She gained significant personal satisfaction during the course, as most of what she learned she applied in her own home.
"I bought a 25 acre block of land in North West Victoria and was moving a weatherboard home onto the site. I learned how to retro-fit and install renewable energy technologies such as photovoltaic (solar) modules and a solar hot water system," Deb reports.
"My course has provided me with best-practice examples of innovative sustainability options. I have been impressed by the specialist knowledge of the teaching staff and their willingness to share their expertise."
Deb recalls doing a lot of research and comparison of other TAFE courses before choosing Melbourne Polytechnic when it was known as NMIT. "I was aware of it’s strong reputation for professional links and industry partnerships but I was won over when I saw the facilities offering practical experience."
"I was really pleased with the blend of theory and practical subjects and the supportive teaching environment that it presented," she adds.
Deb has always held the desire to help reduce the community’s carbon footprint and planned to have a self-sustainable lifestyle. "I didn’t expect to meet so many like-minded people and have the opportunity to share ideas and exchange information. I have immersed myself in every part of the course but have especially enjoyed the computer-aided drawing and building design aspects. I have been amazed by how significantly you can lessen the amount of energy a home uses if you take a holistic approach to its design."
While she studied full-time at Melbourne Polytechnic, Deb worked part-time with Energy Matters – a company specialising in wind energy and solar power installation. Even though she acquired further skills on the job, her employer was so impressed with her standard of training that he wrote to Melbourne Polytechnic to say thanks!
Thanks to Melbourne Polytechnic’s resources and industry networks Deb says she has gained the confidence and skills to complete her home and was offered a full-time job with her grateful, current employer. She has also been recently promoted to the role of Technical Solutions Manager.
"I feel totally valued as an employee and so lucky to have a job in an exciting, developing industry. This course has given me the opportunity to make such positive changes in my life. Now all I have to do is finish building my home!"
Certificate IV in Renewable Energy Technology