Silverdale Academy August Newsletter

In this month’s newsletter, we are proud to share experiences, knowledge and stories gained from our Winter Intern Program where the students have recently completed their six-week learning, with the final week being a hands-on assessment at Warwick Farm.

Silverdale Academy Spring Intern Program 

After the course, students were excited about their future career opportunities within the industry. They were pleasantly surprised by the numerous rewarding careers in our exciting industry and were left incredibly inspired. From this cohort of interns, we had a keen interest in marketing, working at training stables, aspiring veterinarians and some who were even looking to steer towards becoming bloodstock agents. 

Our interns formed new lifelong friendships and continue to stay in touch whilst following each other’s journeys.

We are now taking expressions of interest for the Spring Internship Program.

Where: The Internship Program will be delivered via online learning for five weeks plus a one-week practical horse handling assessment at Warwick Farm Racecourse. 

When: 11 September – 27 October 

Practical Assessment: 23 – 27 October at Warwick Farm Racecourse. 

What are you waiting for? Click the button below to register your interest NOW!

Nationally Recognised Qualifications include:

ACMEQU212: Handle horses safely

ACMEQU217: Load and unload horses

AHCWHS301: Contribute to work health and safety processes

ACMGAS202: Participate in workplace communication

Silverdale Academy Winter Internship Program

The beginning of this month saw ten interns complete their five weeks of online learning leading into their one-week hands-on assessment testing their acquired knowledge.

The students visited Randwick Equine Centre (REC), receiving a behind-the-scenes tour of the state-of-the-art technology first-hand. We’re immensely grateful for the hospitality and time given by Dr Leanne Begg, Dr Chris O’Sullivan, and Tania Rouse for guiding our tour. 

We cannot thank the REC team enough for partnering with us and allowing the students to learn about another career in the thoroughbred industry. Our programs often have participants looking to pursue a veterinary profession, and this experience provides insight into how one may achieve these goals.

The interns visited Warwick Farm Racecourse, where they enjoyed a track tour and watched barrier trials with vantage points trackside and from the judge’s box. They met with groundskeepers, gardeners and jockeys, highlighted by the hands-on experience at Ciaron Maher and David Eustace’s racing stables.

The wonderful Bex Stepetz, Operations Manager at Ciaron Maher Racing, provided the interns with invaluable insight into working for a high-profile trainer and gave the students a glimpse into the daily work at a stable, from mucking out to cleaning the stables and preparing and taking horses to the races.

The Ciaron Maher Racing team continue to provide their generous support, expertise, knowledge and guidance to our students. Their time and contributions allow the students to gain insight to career opportunities at a racing stable – and we are incredibly grateful for this.

Special mention goes to our career speakers who took the time out of their day to educate the future of our industry: Annabel Neasham, trainer; Jason Collet, jockey; Stephen Lamb, Horsepower Feed; James Ross, Australian Turf Club (ATC); Mark Jones, ATC; Owen Buik, ATC; Harrison Edwards, ATC (internship graduate); Joe Pride, Pride Racing; Jemma Cutting, Inglis; Brent Butler, ATC pool attendant; Rob Petith, Helen Boyes & Sally Barton, Silverdale Farm. 

Recruitment of Interns

If you are looking to employ young graduates from our intern programs, please contact Danielle Tiller on 0407877022 or We would like to be able to provide our graduates with work experience opportunities, traineeships or long-term employment opportunities in the industry. 

Silverdale Academy Graduate Spotlight

Each month we like to highlight Academy graduates that are out in the workforce.

This month’s graduate is Georgia Gomm. Since completing the program, Georgia has been riding trackwork for Gai Waterhouse and Adrian Bott five mornings a week.

“…its definitely hard work but I wouldn’t change it for the world…”

Georgia also has a passion for retraining retired racehorses with one of her own in work. She hopes to continue doing this and expand her band of eventers with off-the-track thoroughbreds.

Georgia’s message for anyone interested in entering the thoroughbred industry is to find what truly makes you happy.

“The cliche ‘love what you do and you’ll never work a day in your life’, I never fully understood what that meant until I started riding at the track… it’s never felt like work. I feel privileged that I get to do what I love every day. It is also important to have an open mind and listen to everything around you… take every piece of advice you can get.”

In the future, alongside retraining retired racehorses, Georgia aims to finish her coaching certificate and expand into her jockey apprenticeship.

“… my passion remains with track riding and eventing, and I can’t see myself stopping anytime soon.” 

Expression of thanks 

Expression of Thanks

The Silverdale Academy wouldn’t be possible without Linda Molloy from TAFE NSW. Her tireless work and dedication to the interns is unmatched. Linda puts in long hours and has a genuine passion for education in the equine industry. She has been instrumental in our success to date, and we are grateful to have her on the Silverdale Academy team.

Star Speaker

Jemma Cutting, Marketing Executive at William Inglis
We were extremely fortunate to have Jemma Cutting from Inglis at the intern program to chat with the students, inspiring them with stories from her journey within the industry.

As a young girl in a small Queensland coastal town, Yeppoon, Jemma was captivated by the thoroughbred industry after watching Phar Lap. This interest soon became an obsession, and she would gather clippings and study him as much as possible. This led to her becoming an expert in racing, and before too long, she knew every horse on the racetrack.

Whilst studying at university, Jemma was determined to follow her dreams of becoming a journalist. She worked long hours as a stablehand in the mornings before her first break into presenting and worked for a local radio station.

She soon progressed up to junior finance assistant and photo finish operator in the judge’s box at Brisbane Racing Club. She went on to be a breakfast producer at Radio TAB, then to Sky Racing as a producer for Bred To Win, after which Jemma found her current job with William Inglis as a marketing executive.

Jemma is a refreshing and empowering advocate of the industry. Her humility shines through and her genuine passion is inspiring for future generations. Her journey shows our interns that where you start doesn’t matter – you can achieve so much if you work hard, ask questions, and go after opportunities.

We love having Jemma on our speaker panel and always look forward to her inspirational advice.

Special Guest Visit

During our visit to Warwick Farm Racecourse with the interns, we were fortunate enough to bump into Flemington VIC racecourse manager Liam O’Keefe. Mark Jones, manager of Warwick Farm Racecourse, invited him over to meet the interns for an impromptu chat which led to many discussions surrounding the Melbourne Cup Week. Our interns were thrilled to have the opportunity to ask lots of questions about managing a race day such as the Melbourne Cup.

Jason Collet 

The Silverdale Academy held the first guest careers chat with jockey Jason Collet. Jason generously shared how he got to where he is today. At the end of his inspiring chat, he commented how interesting it was for him to go back in time and re-think his achievements and the pathways that led him to where he is today. Jason has amassed 1090 career wins, including six Group 1 wins and over $80 million in prize money. Steve Grant is particularly proud of a race he won on Vaucluse Bay from three outside. A marvellous win!


On the 1st August every year, the southern hemisphere celebrate horses’ birthdays. But why? 

Universal age standardisation is one of the key factors in determining this birthdate. In horse racing it is essential to have a standardised age for all horses to ensure fair competition. The 1st August was chosen as this commonly signifies the beginning of the breeding and foaling season as weather starts to warm up, prompting mares to commence their oestrus cycle, or ‘come into season’. 

Coming up!

RIEP School Careers Day 

This month will be a busy one for the Silverdale Academy. We are running two school career programs, one for the Illawarra and Shoalhaven area at Silverdale farm, and another at Warwick Farm for our Western Sydney region schools. Our RIEP careers tours provide school students years 10-12 an overview of the possibilities of working in the horse industry. They have the opportunity to engage with industry leaders with career chats, beginner-level horse handling safety and are provided with information on the various pathways to further study and careers.   

If your school is interested in participating, please get in touch with your school’s career advisor and local RIEP representative.

We are now in the early stages of formulating a schools program to be run out of Randwick Racecourse later in the year for our Sydney city based students. 

Silverdale Academy Internship Program 

11 September to 27 October (online learning)
23 – 27 October (Practical at Warwick Farm Racecourse)

Schools Tour 
Illawarra – 10 August, Warwick Farm 
Western Sydney – 11 August, Warwick Farm

Schools Week Experience
Illawarra Schools – 20 – 24 November, Silverdale Farm

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