Stephania Bejma

National Education Coordinator

I am really enjoying my role and would just like to share my journey coming to the National Education Coordinator’s position. I have worked in some aspect of aged care for over 30 years.

While studying at university, I started work in a local nursing home one summer doing the laundry, then moving into the kitchen, assistant nursing and finding my niche in the recreational activity roles. I studied politics and law at university as there was no DT degree back then!

On completing my degree, I realised where my passion lay and over the next few years worked in a number of different facilities around Sydney and the North Coast playing guitar, encouraging people to write their lifestories and setting up the Diversional Therapy departments of the newly developing dementia specific facilities which seemed to be sprouting up everywhere.I travelled overseas for a number of years learning new languages and perfecting my busking skills until starting my family in a little town in Italy (I now have three sons). On returning to Australia, I worked in recreational activity roles in disability services and aged care facilities until moving into the coordination of daycentres for the elderly- a very different kettle of fish!

My passion for teaching and education began when I studied Yoga in 2004 and developed further when I completed a Diploma in Community Services (Lifestyle & Leisure) 2008.I have a Certificate in Life and Business Coaching and a Cert IV in Training. I am passionate about bringing the professional edge to our industry and encouraging the respect and admiration that our roles deserve. I am really hoping to tap into the heart of what you,the members, are looking for in the state workshops and would love any insight or contributions you would like to make.


Diana Tocknell

DTA Office Administrator

 

I am the DRTA Office Administrator and have been with DRTA since January 2013.

I have always worked in accounts, administration and credit control in various industries from banks and insurance to an engineering company, but did take time off work when I had my children. For the last 10 years I have also worked in a part time clerical role at the local school and still work there one day a week.


Margie Kennard

Consultant

It is my privilege and delight to be still advising and doing some consulting work for DRTA – when needed - on special projects and events. I still enjoy the wonderful friendships, professional relationships and networks that I have built during years gone by. After 7 years working for DRTA (originally known as DTA) I retired from my extremely busy AND rewarding role as Executive Officer and Office Manager to spend more time with my husband, Dave, on the property at Oxley Island on the NSW Mid North Coast.

Of course, I maintain my own DRTA Full Membership and am looking into part-time private practice in my regional area.

From a work history in retail pharmacy, admin and running several diverse small businesses, I decided to involve myself in more meaningful work…. I found DRT. My first exposure was with Tammy Steele from the Northern Beaches DRTNSW Regional group. She showed me what it was all about and I joined what was then DRTNSW so I could attend group meetings while I was volunteering in an aged care facility to gain experience. I enrolled in Uni (I loved it, thanks CSU and Marie Sheahan) and found part time work in a high care nursing home and also gained my Cert IV in Community Services (Lifestyle and Leisure) and much wonderful experience. Then, the facility where I had been volunteering offered me the coordinators position in a low care hostel environment where I worked for the next few years. Financial imperatives drove me to find a more highly paid full time job. I then worked in Community Care as a Care Coordinator and Training and DRT adviser for the next few years. Before joining DRTA to run the administration of the new national body in 2010.