Our Students

Veljko Vasiljevic

Melbourne Polytechnic student, Veljko Vasiljevic, moved to Melbourne from his native NZ to pursue a career in the landscaping industry.

He’s now working on several large residential developments in Melbourne and plans to eventually use the skills he learned through Melbourne Polytechnic’s Horticulture Department to set up his own business.

Melbourne Polytechnic student, Veljko Vasiljevic, always knew he wanted a career in the landscaping industry. “I love working outdoors. And it’s really a creative job. It’s never the same from one day to the next.” With few opportunities available in his native Auckland, Veljko made the move to Melbourne three years ago and secured an apprenticeship at BMC Landscape Construction, a Canterbury-based landscaping company. He subsequently enrolled in the Certificate III in Horticulture (Landscape) at Melbourne Polytechnic.

“It was a good choice. The teachers were great. They also taught my boss and a lot of the guys that are working with me. That gave me confidence in the course. They also had all the materials we needed and the content was very practical.”

Eventually Veljko plans to set up his own business, and he’s enrolled in the Certificate IV in Applied Design (Landscape) at Melbourne Polytechnic to develop more skills. “I love the course. It’s continuing what I learned in the Certificate III. But it goes beyond that and gives you more options. It was a bit more homework than I was used to, but it has been worth it.”

Veljko’s company works with several large architecture firms on major residential landscaping projects in suburbs like Kew, Hawthorn and Prahran. “We do everything on the ground from start to finish, replanting, paving and building retaining walls. Each one is unique. Now that I’ve got more knowledge and experience I’m doing more of the construction.” He says he loves the variety offered by a career in landscaping. “It’s such a broad trade. I can specialise in at least a dozen different things and that gives you a lot of options.”

The 22-year-old Ascot Value resident was also the recipient of an Melbourne Polytechnic Study Grant award last year, winning $1000 in cash for his achievements. He went on to win Melbourne Polytechnic’s Apprentice of the Year (Horticulture Department) award for 2nd year apprentices, and came in third in the Landscaping Victoria Apprentice of the Year competition. “Coming in third was really good for me. It helps a lot even being nominated. I was introduced to a lot of people that I wouldn’t have met otherwise.”

Veljko says the teachers at Melbourne Polytechnic have been very supportive, even recommending him for one-off jobs like paving and tiling on weekends. “They stuck by us and encouraged us along the way. The teachers who recommended me for work really helped get my name out there.”


Certificate III in Horticulture (Landscape) and Certificate IV in Applied Design (Landscape)