Old Scholar Profile – Katherine Goldsworthy

Caves create a life of wonder for WAS Old Scholar

Old Scholar Profile // Katherine Goldsworthy (1992 Alumni)

Old Scholar Katherine Goldsworthy has found her passion in eco and adventure tourism.

An invitation to go ‘caving’, commando crawling on your stomach through dark passages, squeezing through openings and emerging elated on the other side isn’t part of your average job interview.

But it was the start of a life’s passion for WAS Old Scholar Katherine Goldsworthy.

“I never wanted an office job!” Katherine laughs.

Katherine’s love affair with a world-class natural wonder – the Capricorn Caves, just north of Rockhampton – is something she says has changed the course of her life.

A qualified chef, with a background in horticulture and geotechnical drilling, Katherine has a diverse skill set to her name.

But it took her some time to realise what she truly loved – the great outdoors, Australia’s epic and inspiring landscapes, and working with people.

She studied an Associate Diploma in Wildlife, Reserves and Wilderness at the University of Queensland’s Gatton campus – “basically teaching you how to manage a National Park” – says Katherine, and set her sights on a career in environmental tourism.

In doing so, she has found a job that truly resonates with her outlook on life.

An ancient cave system, the Capricorn Caves are a series of spectacular above-ground caves in a limestone ridge.

Katherine has worked in all facets of the business, including as a tour guide, adventure guide, fossil guide, running school camps and managing the retail shop.

“Every day is different and that is what I love,” says Katherine.

“If you had told me at high school I’d be doing this job, speaking with hundreds of people, I wouldn’t have thought it was possible – I was a shy introvert!

“But the people I have met through the caves is incredible. Cave managers, scientists and researchers, naturalists, school groups, the list goes on.

“And the environment is very special. This time of year, for example, we have hundreds of different species of butterflies in the rainforest. We find fossils in these caves, and I’m now friends with some of Australia’s leading palaeontologists. Before I came to the caves, I had been feeling life had become a little boring. I definitely don’t feel that now! It is never a dull moment.”

Katherine says a career in tourism is something to consider for those looking for a life that is a little different.

“A job in tourism and the environment, for me, has been amazing.

“I would not be the person I am today without it.

“Tourism can take you on a boat, in a dinosaur museum, on a train, it can take you all over the world. I met my partner through our roles, he was working in the Chicago for one of the world’s longest running dinosaur magazines at the time!”

With many graduates standing on the cusp of their future, Katherine has a special message for those feeling unsure.

“I have learned in life, and it took some time, to really follow your passion.

“Real jobs, and dream jobs, come in all shapes and sizes.

“If you’re passionate about something, just do it.”

Katherine encourages anyone travelling in Queensland to visit the ancient Capricorn Caves – the options are diverse. Try your hand at caving, hiking and climbing or visit cave cathedral for a magical experience. The caves offer a range of experiences for all ages