TAKING exploring her 20s to the next level, Celina Pellett has moved countries, recovered from a broken back and dipped her toes into a mix of different careers.
But there's just one place that finally feels like home.
Now living and working in the Gloucester region, the 25 year-old went from performing in the world of dance to playing underwater hockey and now she's a dairy farmer.
"I feel like I've come full circle, both my parents families back in New Zealand were dairy farmers at some point or still are. It does feel like where I'm meant to be, it feels like home," she said.
The icing on the cake for Ms Pellett was being named Hunter and Central Coast Trainee of the Year and NSW Women in Trades Recipient for 2023, after completing her Certificate III in Agriculture (Dairy Production) at Tocal College.
"It was so unexpected, but I think the biggest thing I've learned is that a dream goal isn't a final destination, it's just part of the journey," she said.
It's been a long and testing journey for Ms Pellett who moved to Australia in 2012 with her family for business reasons.
"We moved to Newcastle because it was very much like our hometown of Tauranga and also because it had a performing arts school," she said.
She graduated year 12 from Hunter School of the Performing Arts with no ATAR, but a Cert III in Assistant Dance Teaching and Cert III in Tourism.
She moved to Sydney at 17 years-old to study a Bachelor of Dance and PDHPE Teaching, while training on the NSW Underwater Hockey Team between Sydney and Wollongong.
"I felt that despite other offers to study dance full time, I had to go to university to prove to everyone else that despite not getting an ATAR, I was just as deserving to go, just as much as everyone else," she said.
"I had no idea what I wanted to do with my life."
But it wasn't the right fit and she went on to gain her Diploma of Dance (Elite Performance) and travelled to America to compete at the World Championships of Performing Arts.
"I came home with three silvers and a bronze (medals) out of five routines," she said.
Unfortunately a freak sporting accident in February 2018 ended her dance and underwater hockey dreams due to three compression fractures in her back and a cerebrospinal fluid leak in the back of her neck.
"The doctors suggested I take up a sport that solely involves core exercises, so I took up aerial silks and stayed in Sydney for a couple more years while working at a dental laboratory while my back healed," she said.
In 2020 Ms Pellett moved back to Newcastle to study Outdoor Leadership to be a school camp instructor.
"I travelled between Forster and Morisset helping facilitate various school camp activities but then COVID hit and my parents talked about moving to the Gloucester region," she said.
Her family purchased a cabin resort in the Barrington Tops where she worked.
"Making beds was not where I saw myself so I purchased a horse - I now have four - and taught myself how to ride horses again and that got me into the agricultural side of things," she said.
Two years ago a job opening popped up at a local dairy and she went on a trial and has been there ever since.
"I'd never been around cows before, I had no experience at all in farming. I was frankly quite terrified, but I jumped at the opportunity and gave it a go," she said.
"It didn't take long to quickly love the lifestyle, while there's always going to be challenges, the day is never the same and it's rewarding."
Ms Pellett has returned to Tocal Agricultural College as a Certificate IV Trainee and is also studying her Diploma online.
She hoped to inspire and encourage other young women to get involved in the agricultural industry.
"I would love to be able to show through being the 2023 NSW Women in Trades recipient, to other women and young females that anything is possible and no experience is required, just the right attitude to give anything a go," she said.
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