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2016 Practitioner of the Year Winner - Carolyn Alchin

University of Southern Queensland’s Carolyn Alchin has gone from strength to strength in career development, taking out this year’s CDAA Practitioner of the Year award.

Carolyn has worked as a career development practitioner at the university since 2011, developing innovative resources and programs that have been rolled out across Queensland.

Some of these resources include the U-cube, Employability Board Game, the Strengths and Values cards and Employability Memory game, all designed for classroom use.

Announced as the winner at the 2016 CDAA National Conference Dinner, Carolyn said it felt great to be valued.

“I felt simultaneously proud and massively embarrassed. I am a total klutz, so I was concentrating on not falling over while on the way to the stage. But it was great to be recognised by fellow practitioners,” she said.

While Carolyn is proud of her work, she said being a mum and completing her masters at the same time has been her greatest career achievement to date.

“I enjoy helping people and I love being creative, so combining these preferences has been a dream come true. But my family is the most important thing to me so being able to manage all of the above is cool from my perspective,” she said.

But Carolyn hasn’t always worked in career development, she started out her career in primary education.

With a love of travelling and teaching, she spent many years working overseas, which included establishing an Australian international education recruitment office.

“For 8 years, I supported teams in England, South Africa and Canada, finding teachers and placing them around the world,” she said.

“My values shifted over this time, from adventure, travel and reputation to other things like family, community and education.”

It was with this value shift that Carolyn decided to bring recruitment and education together to support students in developing their professional identity and professional brand.

Now with more than 10 years of experience in career development, she enjoys supporting people to understand career, themselves and their opportunities and pathways.

“I have particular interest in Career Education, and minimising marginalisation. Also supporting industry and individuals to find suitable candidates is great problem solving fun,” she said.

Carolyn has now taken on the challenge of being CDAA’s new Learning and Development Coordinator, after joining the National Executive Committee at their end of May meeting.

“I am privileged to be on the NEC for 2016. I will be working to understand how to support the members as much as possible,” she said.

“I look forward to doing more resource development and matching that with research to better understand how we can support our clients”