A Territory character

Host: Charles Darwin University, Katherine Rural Campus
Written by Alison Haines  – VET Lecturer, Charles Darwin University Agriculture and Rural Operations.

Doug Jenkins works for Charles Darwin University’s School of Primary Industries as a VET Lecturer/Workplace Assessor. Doug spent five years at the Katherine Rural Campus, mainly teaching beef cattle production subjects to Certificate III Agriculture students and working with the Katherine Rural Campus student show cattle team. Doug “retired” to Tasmania in 2013 but “couldn’t stay away from the NT”. These days he spends up to three months at a time in the NT, specialising in remote delivery of chemicals safety training.

Photo 4.1 copyDouglas Jenkins, Darwin Show – 2011. Photo credit: Charles Darwin University.

Following a long and productive career in the beef cattle industry as a station manager, stock agent, station, and Brahman stud owner, Doug made the move into teaching because “If we don’t take the time to train our young people and encourage them to make a career in the industry there won’t be anyone to replace us and all the industry will be left with is a bunch of cranky old b**tards who want to retire.” Being someone who enjoys teaching young people, Doug saw the move as an opportunity to contribute to the future of the cattle industry and agriculture in Australia.

Born and raised in the Northern Territory, Doug was holidaying in Tasmania with wife Joanne where they stayed in a bed and breakfast in a town “that just somehow felt like home”. Coincidentally they discovered a local property had just come onto the market that day, one thing led to another and Doug and Joanne moved to the property just outside the tiny Tasmanian town of Fingal in 2013. Doug has moved his Braham stud herd from the NT to the property and gets quite a kick out seeing the funny looks his Brahmans get from people passing by his paddocks.

Photo 4.2 copyThe tropically adapted Braham herd requires some extra special care during the Tasmanian winters. Photo credit: Doug Jenkins.

 Photo 4.3 copyEnjoying her rug in the brisk Tasmanian weather – Brahman heifer named Darcy. Photo credit: Doug Jenkins.

For the last two years Doug has returned to the NT taken for short term contract work with Charles Darwin University delivering SMARTtrain® chemical safety courses in some of the most remote areas the Northern Territory has to offer. SMARTtrain® is a nationally recognised program that delivers chemical training products for the agricultural, veterinary and natural resource sectors improving the safety and effectiveness of chemical application.

In an agricultural industry that is increasingly focussed on the safety of both people and produce (for domestic and export consumption) training in the safe use, handling and storage of chemicals is vital for beef producers and community councils alike. Taking the training delivery to these far flung places allows far more people to access much needed quality training without having to travel hundreds of kilometres to complete courses.

Photo 4.4 copyStudents at Avon Downs Station undertaking chemicals training. Photo credit: Doug Jenkins.

In the last few months Doug has delivered 16 courses on stations and in communities from the WA border to the QLD border and everywhere in between. When asked what he likes about the work Doug replies “Although it’s hard being away from home for so long, I really enjoy visiting old friends and making new ones, I enjoy teaching and travelling and seeing some of the most remote and special places the NT is famous for. It’s been a very busy trip and I’m looking forward to being home again. Every year I swear it is my last year coming north for work but every year I end up coming back, just can’t stay away!”

Stay tuned in to meet more of our students and hard-working team members, on their adventures at the Katherine Rural Campus and across the Northern Territory.

Photo 4.5 copyStudents at Newcastle Waters Station completing course work during chemicals training. Photo credit: Doug Jenkins.

Photo 4.6 copyJust some of the places Doug has been in the last two months. Photo credit: Alison Haines.

Photo 4.7 copyStudent undertaking practical training in chemical application. Photo credit: Doug Jenkins.

Photo 4.8 copyBarkly Tablelands. Photo credit: Doug Jenkins.

Photo 4.9 copyAn anthill out in the VRD district. Photo credit: Doug Jenkins.

Photo 4.10 copySometimes just getting to where you need to go can be difficult. Photo credit: Doug Jenkins.

Editors Note: Dougie was one of my instructors when I attended the Katherine Rural Campus way back in 2010. Dougie is a top bloke and all around great man who made going to college fun and interesting. Our group of students were always happy to see Dougie, and he was the kind of person that you wanted to do your best for. He taught us a lot, and still comes up in our conversations from time to time. Thanks Dougie!

The Charles Darwin University’s Agriculture and Rural Operations (Top End) Team provides nationally accredited training in Certificate II in Agriculture (AHC20110), Certificate III in Agriculture (AHC30110) and Certificate IV in Agriculture (AHC40110) qualifications and short courses. Training can be done on campus or in the workplace.

The team is also responsible for the delivery of specialised industry programs including SMARTtrain Chemical Accreditation; 4WD Vehicle Recovery; Basic Welding; Tractor Operation; Basic Engine Maintenance; Chainsaw Operation; Pregnancy Testing and ATV Quad Training.

Enrolments open now, for more information contact:
P. +61 8 8973 8311 | F. +61 8 8973 8300 | E. cdukatherinecampus@cdu.edu.au
PMB 155, Katherine, Northern Territory 0852 AUSTRALIA
RTO Provider No. 0373