It’s never too late to pursue new passions. For Deborah, the University of Newcastle’s Graduate Certificate in Co-operatives Management and Organisation was the perfect fit to support her transition into a new and exciting stage in her career.
To say Deborah’s professional experience has been diverse is an understatement.
A passionate environmentalist, she moved straight from high school to university, completing a Bachelor of Science majoring in Marine Ecology in 1997.
“Twenty years later I have worked as a parks ranger, freshwater ecologist, bartender and waiter, housekeeper, house builder, wetland officer, bookkeeper, and cook,” said Deborah.
“My jobs have been in cities and regional and remote Australia, and overseas in Scotland, Belgium and the Netherlands. I have worked for the government, private business, and not-for-profit organisations.”
A few years ago, she decided it was time for a change.
“I leapt from a well-paid permanent but entirely stressful academic position at a university, to a poorly-paid short-term position, to see what may be possible in the regional town of Mildura in north-west Victoria.
“The journey to start a local food enterprise brought me into the world of co-operatives through the federal government’s Farming Together program, and it was a comfortable fit with what was developing in Mildura.”
Co-operatives, mutuals and member owned businesses have unique legal and economic characteristics that are much needed, but have been neglected in the mainstream business and law curriculum.
The Graduate Certificate in Co-operatives Management and Organisation was designed with this in mind. For Deborah, the qualification gives her a unique advantage when growing her business.
“Studying two postgraduate subjects to delve into co-operative history, governance and law was a natural progression to deepen and strengthen the work I am now involved in.
“What I have learnt from the program has already been applied during the first six months of setting up our co-operative.
“I continue to refer to, and draw upon, the course learnings in developing our Board, our rules, and working with members.”
Her passion for co-operative organisations continues to develop alongside her food enterprise.
“Working collaboratively and co-operatively is essential if we want to develop a kinder, regenerative world. My personal goal is to play my little part in helping to create that world for our future generations.”
Deborah Bogenhuber is a current student at the University of Newcastle studying a Graduate Certificate in Co-operatives Management and Organisation.
I continue to refer to, and draw upon, the course learnings in developing our Board, our rules, and working with members.