They have both completed the New Zealand Certificate in Adult and Tertiary Teaching (Level 5) and are bringing new skills to their roles with Urban Search and Rescue, and Healthcare NZ respectively.
The Christchurch couple fitted their studies around busy lives working, volunteering and being parents to four children between them, as well as five grandchildren.
They chose SIT2LRN distance learning as it offered the course they felt was most relevant to them, and enabled them to fit their studies around their work, lifestyle and other commitments.
And while Bruce was comfortable with the distance learning environment, Maree, who has dyslexia, admitted to struggling at times.
“The support of the facilitators and my husband meant I managed to complete the papers with only a couple of resubmissions.”
Born in Greymouth, Bruce has lived in Christchurch since 1990 and works at the University of Canterbury as a maintenance engineer and boiler operator.
He has a strong interest in civil defence and emergency management and holds several national and New Zealand certificates in this area.
“I’ve also been involved with The Order of St John as a volunteer for the past 36 years in many different parts of the organisation [including roles such as events volunteer, ambulance officer and youth leader].
“At present I am also the team leader and training officer with an Urban Search and Rescue team based at the University of Canterbury [UC Rescue].”
Bruce said he chose the certificate because he wanted to gain a formal qualification that would help him teach and train members of other rescue teams.
He is currently running extended training courses for the UC Rescue team, and hopes to become more involved with training other teams.
Maree Is employed at HealthCare NZ as an Enrolled District Nurse working in the community.
She originally qualified from Christchurch Polytechnic Institute of Technology with a Certificate in Nursing then completed her transition papers to complete the Diploma in Enrolled Nursing.
“I have also been involved with The Order of St John as a volunteer for the past 22 years in many different parts of the organisation [including events volunteer, Ambulance Officer, youth leader and a casual tutor in First Aid].
“As a casual tutor, I started some adult teaching papers at Christchurch Polytechnic. When I became the instructor at Healthcare NZ for the district nurses, I decided it was a good time to pull all my papers together and make a formal qualification.”
Maree is also involved with the UC Search and Rescue team. She plans to continue to teach first aid and would like to do more papers either in mental health or health and safety.
The couple enjoy motorbike riding and attending motorcycle rallies, caravanning around the South Island and other travelling – and the flexibility of studying with SIT2LRN enabled them to continue with these pursuits, even as they gained their qualifications.