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From student to Educator, Chris has come full circle with Mater


Chris is very well regarded and respected member of Mater Education’s team who is at the fore-front of student learning and engagement. Although his journey in healthcare didn’t start until he was 50, healthcare runs in the family for Chris, and Mater has been both his study provider of choice, and his employer.

“I grew up in northern England and my father was a doctor and my mother was a long-retired nurse, so I wanted to follow in their footsteps.”

“My background is a bit unusual from most of my colleagues as I lived in New York for 26 years, with a career in the digital media industry. Here, I was fortunate enough to meet my now wife, Sarah who also went on to study her degree in Registered Nursing (RN) and work at Mater.”

“When we moved to Australia, I went into aged care and specialised in dementia care for three years. This experience pointed me to the Diploma of Nursing course with Mater Education. At 53, I was the oldest in my class and every time doubt would fill my head about being too old, Sarah would tell me the same thing over and over – ‘just keep going’. So I did, and was honoured to be awarded ‘Student of the Year’ by my instructors. It was my educators who inspired me to become a life-long learner, and that’s exactly what I want to impart onto my students.”

“Following graduation, I was hired in the cardio-vascular unit in Mater Private. I loved working there and I found my age was actually an asset, as was my dementia experience. The work was interesting, the staff were so supportive, and I developed a thirst to learn and develop my skills. I found I had a gift to put patients at ease and my teaching skills were developing as I would often supervise nursing students, which I found extremely satisfying.”

“My role with Mater Education has evolved over time, from my first role leading the Deadly Start Pathways traineeship for 38 high school students. I loved this role, as I saw many of these amazing people of 15 and 16 years old become amazing carers and so many had their lives transformed – including me.”

“I have since taught in the VETiS program, the Certificate III in Health Services Assistance and I am currently teaching the Certificate III in Individual Support.”

“I love teaching, telling stories, prompting students to think and sharing my journey. I love seeing my students getting employed, loving what they do and letting me know that I made a difference in their lives. I love hearing that trainees are working in healthcare and continuing their studies and coming to Mater Education for their Diploma of Nursing.”

“I am passionate about what I do because I get to get up each day and make a real difference in being a part of another’s journey. I consider this an honour and a privilege. How great is it that we can help another find their passion, put them on the road to a wonderful career, financial security and have fun doing it? I heard a long time ago that the secret to happiness is not going after what you want, but to help others get what they want. I now believe that to be true.”

If you want to pursue a meaningful job, taught by experienced and passionate educators like Chris, applications are now open to study with Mater Education in 2021. Explore our range of healthcare courses here and start your application today.