Working with students to unlock their potential

Deborah Mercer is committed to assisting students in unlocking their potential through her role as a trainer for Disability and Aged Care qualifications at Atwea. She has built strong relationships with various Aged Care facilities and Disability organisations across Newcastle and the Hunter which has allowed her to organise real world teaching experiences for students.

“I am proud to work for an organisation that provides quality education with a focus on practical on-the-job experiences to ensure industry readiness,” she said.

Deborah discovered her passion for the community service and aged care sector during her long standing nursing career which led her to educating for the past 15 years. She began her role at Atwea in 2018 and since then has implemented interactive learning methods into her classes, to ensure students remain engaged during their educational journey. Deborah was recognised for her efforts at the 2020 Adult Learners Week Awards by winning the Alan Melling Memorial Award for outstanding contributions to the organisation in the field of Aged Care and Health.

“My job as a trainer is to ensure that my delivery is engaging yet flexible and to focus on ways to inspire students to be the best version of themselves,” she said.

An example of this is when Deborah trains her students in the subject of Dementia, she works with them to organise a High Tea for the residents of RFBI Kurri Kurri Masonic Village. This allows the students to interact with residents and teaches them behaviour management strategies and communication skills in an interactive and rewarding way. The feedback from the students after this activity is always positive and is a reflection of Deborah’s level of passion for educating others in the industry that she loves.

With the switch to online learning during COVID-19 restrictions, Deborah has proved her ability to be dynamic in her teaching style and is always looking for ways to improve her knowledge, skills and training delivery.

“The pandemic has brought many challenges to the way we educate, especially in my industry. I am grateful that as an organisation we were able to put plans in place for our students to continue their studies online as we worked towards the successful return back to the classroom,” she said.

As Atwea remains flexible in its delivery around the pandemic, Deborah maintains a high level of standard in ensuring students are supported and engaged whether they are in class or online.

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