Far South-West Practice Teachers Course

My final piece of work before I left the UK was to co-direct the Far-South West Practice Teachers Course. The Central Council for Education and Training in Social Work made it a requirement that all social work students were placed in accredited agencies and supervised by qualified Practice Teachers. Working in partnership with Avril Butler, we developed this new course and ran it for the first cohort. My primary responsibility was the design of the assessment model and I did this through double-marking by representatives of the field and the university. The course preceeded competency-based training but I made use of that model too, breaking down the learning components into discrete indicators for assessors to use. Our work paved the way for a more professional approach to practice learning and in turn to ensuring that newly qualified social workers were job-ready. The map shows our geographical reach; it's what they call 'remote' in the UK!

The course ran for many years and I made use of the assessment model later in my career when I developed the RPL programme for Child Care Workers and later the Assessment and Bridging Course for Migrants.


HACC Training Brokerage

I arrived in Australia in 1991 and soon found myself in work with a part-time job as the Training Broker for Home and Community Care Services in WA. HACC services are designed to support both older citizens and younger people with disabilities, to stay in their own homes and are generally run by not-for-profit organisations. I couldn't have designed myself a better job if I had tried! I set about undertaking a Training Needs Analysis and interviewing trainers to see what they had to offer and how much they would charge. A legitimate research project that provided much of the information I would need for setting up my own company!

It was in this job that I first began to visit remote regions and to get to grips with understanding the unique issues of working with the indigenous population. Jenny Stevens from the Health Department contracted me for my first trip to the Kimberley and 20 years later I still occasionally undertake work for her.