TAFE award for Coogee oceanographer

TAFE award for Coogee oceanographer

A COOGEE man whose life once revolved around the ocean has claimed an award for his work on land.

Brazilian-born Coogee resident Rui Scheidt Feix was recently named South Metropolitan TAFE’s International Student of the Year.

The former oceanographer and scuba diving instructor moved to Australia three years ago to study landscape design after falling in love with WA’s native plants and wildflowers.

Growing up in the south of Brazil, oceans became his passion.

But a move into sustainability seemed inevitable due to his “huge interest” in the field.

“After nine years in the same company I did not find an effective and practical way to help the environment working within that company,” he said.

“So I decided to come to Australia to learn English.

“After six months studying English I thought ‘why not work with something that could bring me satisfaction and at the same time helps the environment?’”

While studying, the 34-year-old also scored a role constructing adventure parks at O’Connor’s Nature Based Play in early 2016.

“Children are the key to creating a better environment in the future which is why I’m enjoying working on constructing nature playgrounds,” he said.

“Now that I’ve finished this course I hope to gain an internship working on social-environmental projects with a renowned landscape designer or architect.

“I would also like to create a link between landscapers in Australia and Brazil so they can share sustainability practices.”

TAFE lecturer Alison Varney said the Brazilian’s career was “shaping up to be one that will make history in the landscaping industry”.