Charlise Bennett


I started working in aged care in 1993 as a RAO and AIN in a number of hostels (low care) and nursing homes (high care) in Sydney before getting a part time RAO position in a nursing home with 88 residents. I completed an Advanced Certificate (now known as a cert 4) in Working With Older People at Kogarah TAFE in 1993 and 1994 while working. In 1996, I started the Bachelor of Applied Science (Diversional Therapy) at WSU as a mature aged student and working part time. I then worked at Port Kembla Hospital in Drug and Alcohol Rehabilitation and in Orthopaedic Rehabilitation. In 1998, a colleague (Kathleen McConville) and I travelled to Ireland, consulting to the Irish Health Board at a number of different hospitals across the country and organising DT workshops.

Upon my return to Australia, I started working for the Aged Care Assessment Team (ACAT) at Bankstown Hospital, completing a Master’s in Health Services Management through distance education. While working for ACAT, I also started lecturing in the therapeutic recreation program at Western Sydney University. I worked casually (every semester) at the university until 2013, when I moved over to a full-time position at WSU, The College as the Learning and Teaching Coordinator for the health science and nursing programs. I am also currently enrolled in a Doctorate of Philosophy at Western Sydney University with my research based on Clinical Reasoning in Diversional Therapy Practice.

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