Marwa made the decision to upskill in her career by undertaking the Bachelor of Disability and Developmental Education at Flinders, furthering knowledge gained from her previous experience.
Doing so has opened her up to a variety of opportunities in the disability sector and led her to receive acknowledgement for her hard work and determination through the Developmental Educators Australia Inc (DEAI) Prize for Academic Excellence.
Marwa says her previous experience in working in an early intervention setting showed her how important receiving timely and quality support can be to the lives of people with disability and their families.
“Building upon this experience and furthering my skills and knowledge to enable me to promote independence, choice, worth and dignity of people living with disability of all ages is extremely exciting for me,” she says.
Marwa is one of many students at Flinders choosing to upskill in their career and pursue higher education studies in the field of disability and community inclusion.
The roll out of the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) and its consequential jobs boom has boosted professional opportunities for workers in the sector to upskill to meet industry demand.
The NDIS is expected to require an additional 90,000 full-time equivalent employees over the next five years, according to the Australia Government’s Department of Social Services, meaning more people like Marwa are needed with specialised skills.
Studies in the disability field are relevant to many professions – including allied health, education, nursing, and community services – helping to build a supportive and inclusive society.
Marwa recognises the interdisciplinary nature of the industry, sharing lectures and tutorials with students from a range of allied health professions including occupational therapy, physiotherapy, clinical exercise physiology and education.
“The multidisciplinary nature of the profession and the heterogeneity of disability means that a career as a developmental educator can go anywhere,” she says.
“The variety of opportunities available in this ever-evolving field of allied health is exciting because it offers career options in a diverse range of employment services.”
As the disability industry calls for more skilled professionals, qualifications across all levels of the disability sector are needed from undergraduate through to postgraduate level.
This demand opens opportunities for workers to develop new skills and advance their careers.
Flinders University’s Associate Professor in the Disability and Community Inclusion Unit, Michelle Bellon, says there are multiple higher education options that expand career pathways and allow for flexibility between courses.