Passionate about providing learning support

Assisting students during their educational journey is the main purpose behind Atwea’s Student Support Services (SSS) unit. Particularly during the pandemic, this unit has played a vital role in helping students ensure their learning goals are on track in order to enter into positive, long term employment.

Ben Parsons joined the team as a Student Services Coordinator in mid-2020 and brings his extensive experience in learning support from roles that he has undertaken across Australia as well as South-East Asia. During his travels, Ben was employed by international schools and language centres where he developed a passion for working with people of all different cultures and also learnt to speak Vietnamese almost fluently as well as a basic level of Tagalog (Philippines) and Bahasa (Indonesia).

A career highlight was presenting at a TED Talks Conference, Ben represented his Indonesian based educational workplace around the topic ‘Science Fiction and Ecological Imagining’. He has also been invited by Microsoft and Google Education Partners around the world to speak at EdTech summits in South Africa, Singapore and the Philippines.

Ben understands the challenges that students from overseas may face during their studies and is able to provide learning support in language, literacy and numeracy for students needing assistance as part of his role in the SSS unit.

“Learning a new language in a new country is really hard and not many people recognise and understand the challenges that these students face,” he said.

Ben says that it’s important for students learning English to immerse themselves in the language and culture as much as possible. He also encourages them to share their native language and culture within the classroom too for a culturally enriched environment.

After 15 years of travelling, Ben has decided to settle down in his home town of Newcastle and start a new life for his family. He considers himself a lifelong learner and is currently studying a Masters in Secondary Education and a Graduate Certificate in TESOL to advance his skillset.

Ben views learning as a journey rather than a destination. “I believe that studying is something that we can do to continuously develop ourselves, and it is important for us to continue to learn and broaden our skills to increase employment opportunities,” he said.

During his career, one thing that he has noticed is that everyone has different ways of understanding information and that studying is not a one size fits all method. “Every person interprets information in their own way and our team are here to support students who are having difficulty in finding a method that works best for them,” Ben said.

From the start of their course to after completion, the SSS team are there to support students along their educational journey. For more information, contact the SSS team on: support@atwea.edu.au.

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