UNE Partnerships is committed to lifelong learning. We have graduated thousands of students with Certificate, Diploma and Advanced Diploma qualifications. We encourage our graduates to continue to communicate with us, share their stories with us and give us suggestions on ways to facilitate professional and career growth. Many graduates come back to re-enrol with us.
We work extensively with client organisations in government, private and not-for-profit sectors improving staff performance and organisation capability, and implementing capacity-building solutions. These solutions provide tangible returns on training investments for client organisations and skills enhancement for their people.
In these pages are stories of individuals who graduated from UNE Partnerships’ programs and client organisations that we have collaborated with for mutual success.
If you are a past student of ours with a story to tell, we would be delighted to share your UNE Partnerships experience with the rest of the world. Please contact us on 1800 066 128.
1) What was the highlight of your study experience?
“The best part of my studies was the fact that they are relevant to what I am doing at work, so I can actually refer to and relate to the majority of every day operational issues within the centre. The online support is excellent, with the feedback from tutors giving me more confidence. Hence the reason why I have continued with further studies in Project Management.”
2) How has this course benefited your career?
“The course has given me a promotion from Risk and Security Manager to Facilities Manager – I am currently the Facilities Manager at Westfield St Lukes, Auckland, New Zealand. Since I completed the course, I have already had two FM roles within the organisation. One at Downtown and the current being St Lukes.”
3) How has your organisation benefited from your studies?
“The organisation has benefited from my studies by being able to promote from within the organisation, instead of outsourcing for the role – and also being able to retain a staff member with valuable experience in other areas (Risk Management/Security Management).”
4) How did you balance work/life/studies?
“At times it was difficult to get the right balance, especially when you are working full time and having a family to cater for. To get through the course, I dedicated one day a week (Saturday) to carry out any studies/course work in order to complete it. I was very fortunate to have a very understanding family that saw the bigger picture of the studies that I was doing, and the better work opportunities that would be available for me once I had completed my studies.”
Kylie McGeary, Practice Manager, was the first student to complete the Certificate IV in Professional Practice Management developed by UNE Partnerships.
Kylie was able to complete the qualification in just 10 of the 18 months that she was allocated for the course. Kylie chose to study with UNE Partnerships on the recommendation of the Australian Association of Practice Managers (AAPM), of whom she is a member.
Kylie developed a close relationship with Marion McKay, one of the UNE Partnerships assessors for the program. Kylie felt that Marion’s guidance and support was one of the most significant reasons she was able to complete her Certificate IV in such a remarkable time frame.
Having completed her studies, Kylie was able to easily identify the benefits she has gained from doing the Certificate IV in Professional Practice Management. “The course gave me the confidence to know that we are doing things correctly within the practice, but also forced me to look at the other ways of doing things that might be more effective and efficient.”
1) What were the key factors that influenced you to study, train, enrol with UNE Partnerships?
“I had been in Facilities Management for well over nine years. I know how to do the work, but I never had the qualifications to confirm that I could do the work. I had searched for several years for some type of Facilities Management qualification in New Zealand, I ended up only being able to complete a couple of property management papers through Massey University – one on building services and the other on building construction. With not much luck tracking down a place in New Zealand who had Facilities Management studies, I decided to seek off shore and found UNE Partnerships.
After the Facilities Management Diploma, I felt the urge to study again. I liked the idea of the Diploma of Business as it covered a huge range of topics which I currently work on at my current employment. I provided a business case to my manager, and he accepted as he could see the benefits of me carrying out the study.”
2) In what ways do you think the investment in training with UNE Partnerships has helped you?
“When registering with recruitment agencies, they have been impressed that I had gained two Diplomas by correspondence while working full time. Other people in the Facilities Management industry have also commented that it is great that I gained the Facilities Management Diploma as it was a rare qualification to have in New Zealand. I do believe that it is an advantage when I decide to seek employment elsewhere.”
3) What do you consider to be the top three benefits to your employer, as a direct consequence of your training and study with UNE Partnerships?
- Staff education
- Staff career progression
- Educated staff working on client contracts
“I have recommended UNE Partnerships’ services within my current employer. I recommended two people in my team to complete the Certificate in Facilities Management. This was approved by management and was carried out about the same time as when I was completing the Diploma of Business.”
UNE Partnerships partnered with Tamworth Regional Council to customise and deliver the Advanced Diploma of Management and Diploma of Management programs to 39 management level staff.
The Council wanted to partner with a regional educational institution that had experience in delivering the qualifications in a local government environment, and UNE Partnerships was selected as the training provider. Working with Paul Bennett, Tamworth Regional Council General Manager, the main skills that were identified across all sections of Council related to the management of people performance and providing leadership across the organisation.
John Ross, a UNE Partnerships trainer and assessor, facilitated the 27 workshops over the course of the program. According to Paul Bennett, “John was flexible and supportive of Council’s requirements. He provided additional student support workshops at the request of Council which were a huge success and benefit to staff members. John provided sound feedback upon submission of assessments. Due to John’s local government knowledge and experience, he was capable of engaging his audience and had the ability to initiate a professional conversation which opened up the topic for debate amongst the group.”
The study program required participants to develop group projects which included topics such as a health and wellbeing program, asset management solution, business mentoring system, and performance management, among many others. One of the approaches taken was to contextualise assesment, such as The Leadership Action Plan and Community Engagement assessment task which was contextualised to the Development of a Community Strategic Plan. The final assessment task focused on a series of group projects based on potential Council projects for implementation as part of a culture of continuous improvement.
UNE Partnerships’ ability to customise the programs specifically for the Council was a significant benefit to both the individual participants and organisation.
St Vincents & Mater Health Sydney (SVMHS) required a flexible and creative training provider that could develop a skills development pathway to emerging leaders within the organisation. According to Kerry Field, General Manager, Human Resources, “The question was, how could we get a university degree to meet the needs of the business, as well as the needs of individuals within the business…to support the growth of the whole organisation?”
UNE Partnerships was able to provide that solution, developing the ‘Graduate Leadership Program’, customised to meet the specific needs of SVMHS. The program was designed to suit a diverse group of individuals from a variety of backgrounds with mixed clinical and non-clinical responsibilities (doctors, nurses, allied health, administrators). UNE Partnerships was able to satisfy these requirements, and provide recognition of prior learning for participants who had already completed a SVMHS internal leadership program.
The Graduate Leadership Program incorporated a range of course material and involved Australian subject matter experts and professional presenters who not only understood the Australian health environment, but also the broader leadership and management issues in the business world.
Participants worked together to develop workplace-based projects with their colleagues, in alignment with the strategic direction of the organisation. The projects were scoped and developed to be assessed by the Board and Executive for implementation in service delivery units or across the organisation.
The Program combined units from UNE Partnerships’ Advanced Diploma of Management and University of New England postgraduate units in management. Upon successful completion of the two-year program, participants received dual qualifications in Advanced Diploma of Management and Graduate Certificate in Management. They then progressed through further postgraduate units to attain a Masters, undertaking these together with subsequent intakes to the Graduate Leadership Program.
Ms Field said, “We think it’s fantastic that UNE Partnerships was prepared to listen to our needs and develop a program accordingly. Our employees think the program is fantastic, and it’s not just the material they like. Everything they’re doing is related back to our organisation and relevant to their work.”
The Royal Australasian College of Surgeons and UNE Partnerships collaborated on the development of a workshop program aimed at meeting the continuing professional needs of Fellows of the College.
Fellows participated either in professional development capacity by attending workshops only, or commenced the Academic Program by enrolling in the Advanced Diploma of Management with UNE Partnerships. The college provided Continuing Professional Development (CPD) points for participation at two levels.
The program was fully customised in consultation with the College as well as industry representatives to ensure that learning outcomes addressed the workplace issues faced by surgeons. Professor Clifford Hughes, CEO of the Clinical Excellence Commission in New South Wales, was a key member of the consultation panel and was enrolled in the full program.
The program was developed to equip participants with a wide range of health management skills, while developing broader understanding of leading and managing public and private health organisations. The three workshops covered:
- Leadership: leadership styles, emotional intelligence, employee relations and managing change.
- Strategic direction: developing organisational strategies through effective planning, organisational and market analysis, and strategic measurement systems.
- Sustainability: developing and managing business and financial plans that accommodated risk management and maintaining quality of care and service.
Dave Olive (Safety and Training Manager) and Chris Gardiner (Senior Training Co-ordinator) of Xstrata Coal embarked on a program to develop the supervisory skills of their on-site managers. The managers came from Xstrata’s Rolleston Coal site, located at Springsure near Emerald in Western Queensland. Chris picked a group of twelve staff, including engineers, accountants and supervisors, to undertake training aimed squarely at the needs of Frontline Supervisors.
The program was developed and tailored to Xstrata Coal’s specific needs by UNE Partnerships. Both organisations took a pragmatic approach to recognising and addressing the current skills of the participants.
UNE Partnerships travelled to the Rolleston Coal site to engage in a consultation process with Dave Olive, Chris Gardiner and the managers selected to participate in the course. This visit was an essential part of the development process as it allowed UNE Partnerships to conduct a skills audit of the staff and both discuss and observe the training needs that would then be integrated into the program.
Chris Gardiner was impressed with the quality training program provided by UNE Partnerships. “It was very good that they could tailor the course to suit our needs. It allowed the students to reflect on their Manuals for a better understanding of the content.” Chris was also pleased to see the personal development of his staff. “The best thing that I have enjoyed watching is some of the quiet and reserved students really coming out of their shell with confidence in all they do.”
The focus of Tronox Management’s employment and recruitment strategy is on creating a better work-life balance. Their by-line, ‘the way we work helps you enjoy the things that matter most’, highlights Tronox Management’s commitment to its employees in providing flexible rostering and career opportunities within the organisation. For Tronox Management (previously Tiwest Joint Venture), a customised training program developed with UNE Partnerships not only delivered an effective skills development tool contributing to a safer work environment, but also improved the overall capability of the organisation.
The customised training by UNE Partnerships provided three principal benefits:
- A central focus for new employees by introducing the company’s systems, processes and alignment to existing operations. This included a complete system audit for Tronox Management prior to the commencement of training to ensure company systems and processes were structured against curriculum competencies. By way of example, students were required to use the company standard incident investigation tool, risk assessment tool, and safety action process as part of the safety module.
- Alignment of company systems in improving the effectiveness and efficiency of the workforce, positively impacting on profitability and revenue for the organisation.
- Opportunity for students to complete their assessment during working hours.
Customisation of the course material to Tronox Management’s systems meant that assessments were designed to reinforce learning within the workplace. Self-paced distance learning, supported by on-site assessment and coaching proved extremely successful for Tronox Management.
Tronox Management continues to value the importance of continuous improvement and innovation, and regards training as an essential component of their recruitment and retention strategy. From their perspective, developing the right sort of training has not only improved their efficiency but has also reduced staff turnover.
Ten students from the John Holland Group undertook an innovative project management training program, facilitated by our Senior Consultant Doug Wheeler. The students were located in the Northern Territory (one in the Tanami desert), Queensland and Victoria.
UNE Partnerships’ understanding of the complexities of delivering training to staff in remote mining and construction locations allowed for adapting delivery to facilitate effective learning. Guided by Kim Hetherington, John Holland Northern Region Training and Development Advisor, the students were able to access the training online, using Sametime (Lotus Notes) software and a Hitachi Starboard electronic whiteboard.
Doug conducted weekly online interactive workshops of one to two hours’ duration. Students were also provided with distance education materials and access to Doug by telephone and email. Doug adapted his teaching style as he was not able to have direct contact with the students; instead it was necessary to interact with the students through voice and screen communication. This was facilitated by the use of slides as well as the interactive whiteboard which students were free to comment on as required.
The students and Doug met for the first time during the presentation of their projects to John Holland managers followed by a graduation for the students. Four cohorts of students (82 students) from the John Holland Group and The Horizon Alliance went through the Diploma of Project Management program with 98% successfully completing.
UNE Partnerships customised a Diploma of Business (Frontline Management) qualification for Sandvik with pilot programs taking place in both Perth and Brisbane for twenty selected staff from across Australia. The aim was to provide employees in management and supervisory roles the opportunity to develop their leadership, communication and business management skills. The program was delivered over a nine-month period and consisted of six two-day workshops.
Feedback from the pilot group was extremely positive. According to Kathryn Brown, then National Training Coordinator for Sandvik Mining and Construction, “The course provided employees with the right skills to do the job, and the emphasis on workplace application allowed them to complete their assessments as part of their daily tasks. Already we have seen vast improvements in workplace practices. Assessment consists of individual and group projects requiring people from across the company to work together, including a group presentation to senior management of their final assessment project at the Graduation. The senior managers were really engaged with the presentations and kept asking additional questions. Some of the projects were reviewed for future implementation into the company,” commented Kathryn.
The cohort of 30 participants graduated with a Diploma of Management at an evening function for the inaugural Sandvik Safety, Service and Leadership Awards. The Awards underpinned Sandvik’s Core Values to acknowledge, encourage, reward and promote the outstanding achievements of Sandvik employees.
Sandvik continued its commitment to staff training with two more groups of staff in Brisbane and Perth. having commenced UNE Partnerships’ Diploma of Management. More than 70 students completed their studies. According to Managing Director Rowan Melrose, “market conditions place additional pressure on the business; however these types of courses help our employees focus their efforts and make real changes that can improve our operations and efficiency.”
Schreiber Hamilton Architecture is a leading architectural design organisation offering a full range of personalised services to their clients including master planning, urban design, concept design, design development, contract documentation, contract administration and general project management services. The company strives to deliver a high quality level of service, setting practical and achievable construction programs and meeting financial targets, while paying particular attention to detail.
To uphold their position within the market, and to minimise the loss of management services to independent Project Managers that are becoming increasingly required for government projects, Schreiber Hamilton Architecture identified a need to expand their project management skills and internal workplace systems. Obtaining formal skills in this area was seen as an opportunity to increase competitive advantage, gain more control over projects and to enhance the overall quality of their projects by being more heavily involved.
Schreiber Hamilton Architecture partnered with the Construction and Property Services Industry Skills Council (CPSISC) to develop a training program and assist in finding a funding partner. Schreiber Hamilton Architecture was granted financial assistance from the National Workforce Development Fund which supported the employees significantly throughout their training making this opportunity possible. The employees commenced study in the Diploma of Project Management with UNE Partnerships, chosen as the registered training organisation because of the association with the University of New England and their reputation as a quality RTO.
UNE Partnerships delivered training via distance education which Tim Johnson, Associate Director at Schreiber Hamilton Architecture said was “well-suited to our professional work load; the delivery method allowed our work to inform the direction of our learning”. The Project Management program runs over a 12 month period and offers practical skills for immediate on the job application, learning in real-world solutions to help bring in projects on schedule by targeting individual professional development and improved organisational performance. “Through the online resources and the effective teaching by the facilitator conducting the course, we were able to obtain a high level of understanding in Project Management which we could immediately take back to the office and put into practice” said Christopher Vlatko, Associate Director and Registered Architect.
Schreiber Hamilton Architecture has already implemented many of the skills, processes and theories learnt during Tim and Chris’s studies. The development and expansion of internal operating systems, along with the skills developed by undertaking the additional study, will continue to expand the skill base of the office, while the formal nature of the qualification provides the opportunity to compete for the management of larger government-based projects. The increased skills and their formal industry recognition will help Schreiber Hamilton Architecture expand the services they offer clients, provide a stronger business model in an otherwise difficult environment and, it is hoped, help reduce the overall project costs experienced by clients engaging multiple management consultants for a project.