Social Work graduates not horsing around

Social Work graduates not horsing around

Rob Myers has been working at Fossil Creek Farm since graduating from Te Pūkenga NMIT with a Bachelor of Social Work in 2021.
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Rob Myers talks to TK about the miniature horses on the farm.

The farm, located in Wairoa Valley, is a sanctuary for people and animals alike. It makes the most of the peaceful location and calm nature of the horses, alpacas and donkeys that roam the 100 acres of rolling hills.

Many of the clients are children who have low self-esteem, anxiety or who would just benefit from talking to a trained social worker. However, everyone is welcome. The farm’s current capacity allows for up to 100 clients per week, with respite options available for those looking for a break away in a safe environment.

Rob loves driving through the gates each morning to get to work and feels like he is making a positive impact.

“It is a great place to work. I feel supported and there is a real sense of community here,” he said.

Rob enjoys teaching the children he works with about the animals on the farm, noticing many respond well in the natural environment far more readily than traditional counselling sessions.

“The approach we take with people is far more relaxed,” he said. “Sitting in a room can be quite confronting.”

Rob also says that they do not expect too much from the animals.

“There’s not much riding of the horses, for example. We just let them come to us.”

Jude co-owns Fossil Creek Farm(external link) with her partner Lloyd, and graduated from Te Pūkenga NMIT the year before Rob did. In fact, all current employees studied at Te Pūkenga NMIT and speak fondly of the joint experience they share.

“We hold our tutors in very high esteem and often ask ourselves, ‘what would they do in this situation?’. It’s nice that we all had the same experience together," says Rob.

Rob was introduced to Jude and Lloyd prior to graduating by tutor, Sarah Fraser.

“I did feel like I had a couple of options available to me after graduating,” Rob said. “The industry connections at Te Pūkenga NMIT enables graduates to walk right into employment.”

For more information about the Bachelor of Social Work(external link), visit our website.

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