“It’s not just what I’ve learnt about other people, but I’ve learnt so much about myself!” Nikki, Fusion 401 Student, Class of 2016.
This year Nikki Stanfield on the Sunshine Coast, Queensland is sharing a classroom with Heather Dwyer in Mornington, Victoria. Together they are studying Fusion 401, Certificate IV in Youth and Community Work (Christian). They don’t get to see each other all that often, but thanks to technology they are able to share an online classroom every week, joining in lessons and discussions with trainers and others students from around the country.
Each week includes one and a half days of class time plus one and a half days of fieldwork in a Fusion centre. “The advantages of this model of training delivery are limitless,” shares Dean Polkinghorne, Fusion’s Training Chaplain.
“Our students are able to engage with the challenging material each week and go out into real world situations to try out what they’re learning immediately. They are benefitting enormously from the opportunity to learn, apply, reflect and change without any delay.”
In 2017, the course is set to expand even further when students join in from Perth, Western Australia for the first time. According to Dean, “We’re thrilled that those on the west coast will be part of this training course next year. Working across time zones will add a new dimension to what we are doing but, there is such richness that comes from being on a journey with people from all over the place that the challenge is more than worth it.”
With her eyes on future study in social sciences, Fusion 401 looked like a good fit for Heather after finishing Year 12.
“I wasn’t really sure what to expect but I’ve certainly grown in my youth work skills faster than I ever would have imagined possible. I thought the course would be very theoretical, with lots of biblical input that might not have been all that relevant. Instead, I was able to apply it all straight away in the programs and youth work I’m doing.”
A highlight for Heather is the practical field work she does each week, including developing and implementing the Real Girls program in two local schools. “It’s been great to learn things one day and be able to put them into action the next in real interactions with young people. I’ve grown so much in my skills and ability to implement programs already.”
Meanwhile, Nikki was helping out with the Sunshine Coast Street Work Bus when she came across the Fusion 401 course. The affordability and the range of opportunities it offered really appealed to her, especially the chance to travel to Uluru and Tasmania! Nikki shares, “This course has been better than I ever expected. The Bible books have definitely been a highlight but more than that, I’ve appreciated seeing how the Bible is relevant to today and how we work with young people.”
“I’ve found learning about how people work really valuable. The way that I view people has changed. I understand more about how to see past the behaviours on the surface and can relate to people better, rather than just seeing and responding to what’s on the outside. I used to be able to talk and ask young people questions, but now I know the right questions to ask.”
About Fusion 401
First accredited in 1997, Fusion’s Certificate IV in Youth and Community Work (Christian) has been completed by hundreds of students from across Australia and around the world. The combination of Bible study, psychology, sociology, church history and self-growth components equips people of all ages to make a difference in their communities. To find out more about the course or to express your interest in enrolling for 2017 visit www.fusiontraining.org.au