1. What is your role at your organisation and how do you support practitioners /or the industry?
I’m the Managing Director at Switch on Health, which is a new(ish) college offering ATMS accredited Advanced Diploma qualifications. How do we support practitioners and industry? Well, when someone asks me what I do, I say this:
We offer anyone, anywhere in Australia, the opportunity to gain an education and a recognised qualification that enables them to have a successful career helping themselves, their family, and their clients, to live a happier and healthier life.
That’s the long version! Our mission statement is “Everyone has the right to a happier and healthier life.” We bring the opportunity to study natural therapies to those who otherwise might not be able to, and what a fabulous opportunity it is.
2. How did you get into your area of expertise and why do you stay?
Wow. Well, I always had a passion for teaching. It started in the classroom and grew from there as I recognised (back then) some of the shortfalls in online education and how this could be improved. And why do I stay? It’s incredibly rewarding.
Look at it this way. As a practitioner I was quite happy helping one person at a time. When I started teaching, I realised how much more leverage I could get. If I could help turn 30 students into awesome practitioners, and each of them went out and helped one person at a time, I was being far more effective. And then of course I got into management. If I could improve our courses and help all the teaching staff, and then each of them helped all their students, I’ve just leveraged myself again. So it’s incredibly rewarding to be in this position making the biggest difference I can.
3. What has been the main focus or outcomes of your work over the past year?
It’s still very early days for our college. We’re still in a growth phase, so there’s been a lot of focus on building that really solid foundation for us to move forward. A key focus for us is content development and making sure we have great learning materials and delivery.
4. How has your field changed in the past 5 years? What new areas are emerging?
There’s a massive growth in the demand for online learning. Not only that, but we’re now seeing a rise in online practice, i.e. telehealth. We’re also seeing ever increasing use of technology in our lives, and technological changes and developments, and this also influences the way people learn online. All in all, online learning is steadily becoming more effective, and we’re looking forward to continually improving our learning experience.
5. What do you predict will happen in the next 5 to 10 years in your particular field?
Probably an extension of the previous question. Greater presence of technology in our lives and in education. The online learning experience will continue to become closer to the classroom experience so that there’s less of a boundary between them.
6. What is the one-way you believe natural medicine practitioners, can make a difference for their clients?
I’d say it would have to be that we recognise and treat the individual. Unfortunately what we’re seeing in the medical model is an increase in the tendency to provide a blanket treatment, but everyone I know will tell you that they know they are unique, and their treatment needs to reflect that.
7. Fun Fact for the Readers: Tell us who inspires you / or who your professional idol is and why?
I am truly inspired by all the wonderful practitioners who are out there on the ground and making a real difference to people’s lives. I also get inspired by our students. Watching them grow and develop and overcome their personal challenges, and being a part of their journey – it’s really humbling, and I feel privileged to share part of their journey with them.