Malcolm Francis had great plans for his retirement, pursuing his passions and spending more time with family.
Not in the plan was becoming a facilitator for SIT2LRN, however the Kapiti Coast man is now very much enjoying the role and sharing the knowledge he gained during his career.
Malcolm is a facilitator for SIT2LRN’s Bachelor of Applied Management and the New Zealand Diploma in Workplace Health and Safety Management (Level 6).
“At the end of November 2017, I retired with the aim of spending more time pursuing my passions of art, music and fly fishing and spending time with family. But that’s not quite how it has worked out - I have discovered a great way to share my knowledge in occupational health and safety through my role as a facilitator.”
Before retiring, Malcolm spent 14 years working in Occupational Health and Safety at ACC, and before that, had worked more than 20 years in the organisational learning and development field where he gained a great insight into the challenges of adult learning.
“As a SIT2LRN facilitator of distance learning I am able to apply both my occupational health and safety knowledge and the empathy to understand the challenges individual students have with distance learning.”
Advances in technology have made a huge difference in the way distance learning students are supported.
“Back in the 1980s I studied numerous university papers through distance learning and we never had the technology supporting us like students have today where you can provide them instant support as well as information via the endless list of internet links.”
When he is not guiding students towards their qualifications, Malcolm volunteers at the Nga Manu Nature Reserve in Waikanae helping to create a safe environment for some of New Zealand’s rare native animals and through this is able to observe numerous native birds – his favorites are the kaka and whio (blue duck).
“They also have a wide range of New Zealand reptiles such as tuatara that have flourished for around 200 million years. I have been lucky enough to sit and watch a pair of spotted brown kiwis wandering around in the natural environment that we have created at Nga Manu. These are a breeding pair of kiwis and are part of New Zealand’s conservation breeding programme.”
And those retirement plans to spend more time fly fishing?
“I am lucky to live in Te Horo, and area that has numerous local rivers where I can take a break and enjoy some time on the water casting my flies to a nice trout, however, I do release them if they are silly enough to eat my flies.”
And then it’s back to work, and the satisfaction he gets from his role with SIT2LRN.
“As a facilitator, the greatest reward for me has been the individual feedback that I have received from my students. I have a firm belief that if they succeed in their studies, then I have succeeded as their facilitator.”