TWO Turanga Health staffers have started this year as new graduates – and they recommend the experience to others.
Population Health Coordinator Dallas Poi completed a postgraduate diploma in business studies and Corporate Services Manager Lisa Tamatea has done a bachelor of business with a double major in accounting and management.
Lisa studied extramurally through Open Polytechnic New Zealand so it would fit around work and home life.
“I hadn’t done any tertiary study prior to starting at Vanessa Lowndes Centre in 1997. I joined the airforce after school and studied accounting but it wasn’t recognised outside of the forces.
“When I started at Vanessa Lowndes Reweti encouraged me to study so initially I did a diploma in business with an accounting focus.”
After she completed that, Reweti encouraged her to do more so in 2010 Lisa started part time study for her degree.
“For me, the flexibility was huge. It’s definitely an achievement finally finishing, knowing I am a role model for my kids. They had to sacrifice as well,putting up with a grumpy mum from time to time. Finishing was more about them than me.”
“It’s a bit of a relief and a bit surreal to be honest, because I have just been doing a paper here or there as work and family demands allowed.”
For Dallas the process was quicker, but just as rewarding.
“I completed my diploma part time over two years, travelling every fortnight to Waikato University for Saturday classes. I had to make sacrifices but it still allowed me to work full time.”
Dallas already holds a bachelor of health science and a postgraduate diploma in public health, so last year’s qualification was mainly about upskilling.
“The work that we do at Turanga Health is ever changing, so you have to keep up with whatever new knowledge is coming out. I totally recommend it otherwise you can get too stagnant and comfortable around your knowledge base.”
Lisa agrees.“Staff should definitely take the opportunity. Turanga Health is big on internal upskilling. It’s an organisation that’s willing to invest in you. You just have to commit to it,” says Lisa.
In 2016, 15 staff members also completed Te Wananga o Aotearoa Whirikoka campus’s tikanga marae course, committing two hours every Friday afternoon.
This year Turanga Health has secured scholarship funding through Hauora Tairāwhiti to support seven clinical and nonclinical individuals develop through tertiary level studies.
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