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Bridging the Gap

Updated: May 13

By Dr Renée Ralph, Co-Founder, The Brilliant Foundation

CITY BEACH, Western Australia – Associate Professor Jane Coffey, People Culture Organisation, Curtin University with industry professionals Kirsty Anderson, Heritage Specialist (Operations), Roy Hill, David Gribble, Former CEO, Constable Care and Louella Paramor, People and Performance Manager, Telethon Kids Institute volunteered their time on Thursday 11 May to share their life stories and their career development with university undergraduates and guests. The Brilliant Foundation Sundowner was held at Hamptons City Beach overlooking the Indian Ocean with the setting the sun.

From Left to Right : Louella, Renée, Jane, Kirsty and David - volunteering their time and sharing their life experiences with the students and youth.

Question and Answer

Renée asked the first guest speaker, Associate Professor Jane Coffey: What made you decide to be a teacher and lecturer? What there a career plan and life design when you decided to do so?”

Associate Professor Jane Coffey, People Culture Organisation, Curtin University

Jane shared she completed a Bachelor of Commerce degree and had no idea what she wanted to do. She started her own company Jane Coffey & Associates for 15 years and she said that she remembered that she was asked to be a guest speaker on a topic and was extremely nervous. However, when she did it, she realised that she loved it.

Jane found a niche initially in sessional work as a tutor for several years before embarking a Doctor of Philosophy (PHD) in Human Resource Management, Industrial Relations and Performance Management at Curtin University. She shared that sessional work provided her the flexibility to bring up her child and be at home for her whilst pursuing her academic career. She loved her role teaching and being with students. Her role evolved from Deputy Head, Curtin University of Technology to Academic Director, Senior Lecturer and was promoted to Associate Professor in 2021.She has been with Curtin University for 17 years.

Jane is instrumental in designing and developing the core unit Strategic Career Design with her team 3 years ago. It has an annual enrolment of 2,000-3,000 students. She said some of the activities that the students have completed in tutorials such as the Compass Activity, Inheritance Factors and Odyssey Plans were developed by the Life Design Team at Stanford University.

She hopes that this unit will give the current generation the life skills to navigate through today’s fourth industrial revolution and complex gig economy. More importantly, to have the adaptive mindset and resilience to manage life's challenges in a purposeful way.

Renée asked the second speaker, Kirsty:”What degree did you do? Have you always been in the cultural heritage role? Why do you find it fulfilling? Was there a career plan and life design when you decided to do so?

Kirsty Anderson, Heritage Specialist (Operations), Roy Hill

Kirsty responded that she had no clue what she wanted to do in her career. She shared that she completed Bachelor of Arts (B.A), Archaeology and Classical Histo