Brisbane DPT trainer, Michelle Okonowa, has been a community services trainer for 4 years with many years work experience on the field. Here she shares her training background and how she encourages students to enjoy their course.
How long have you been a trainer?
I started teaching literacy and numeracy to youth at risk in 2003 and really enjoyed watching the effect that education can have on a student’s life including their chances to enjoy what they do for a living. In 2014 I started training in community services and have enjoyed the challenges and vast learning curve of being a vocational trainer and assessor.
What is your aged care/disability work background?
I have 6 years’ experience as a disability support worker and have experience working at in home, residential and activity services. I have supported people living with a disability, trying to enter the work force, involved in the criminal justice system or disengaged from the education system. I attribute the skills and success I have had in my work career to the years that I spent as a disability support worker on the ground, getting to really know my clients and supporting them on their journey.
What three things do you enjoy about being a trainer?
Watching students grow and attain new skills and knowledge.
Listening to workplace experience stories.
Watching students gain employment in the sector.
What are the challenges of being a trainer?
Meeting all the students needs a the same time can be a challenge.
What are 3 tips for students to get through the course?
Ask questions whenever you are unsure, don’t waste energy procrastinating on what a question may mean. Clarify with your trainer and keep moving!
Dedicate time to your study, even if you only have a small amount of time, little by little is better then not at all
Enjoy the new experience.
What you enjoy doing outside work?
Travel, bushwalking, swimming, music.