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Suzanne Teague, Jillian Chisolm, Marcia Penn, Melisa Sincock and Evthoxia Lynch (absent Janet Siversen). Photo: Natalie Mendham Photography

Bachelor of dementia care graduates look to the future

Australian experts hope the first group of graduates of the University of Tasmania’s (UTAS) bachelor of dementia care will help make a difference in lives and contribute to a growing pool of leaders in the field.

The first six bachelor's graduates to complete the program recently took to the stage for their winter graduation ceremony.

The fully online course is available to domestic and international students and aims to help them develop specialised knowledge. It has no face-to-face or workplace assessment component and can be studied full-time or part-time.

Co-directors of the university’s Wicking Dementia Research and Education Centre, professors Andrew Robinson and James Vickers, said the program would be an important part of future dementia care in Australia.

Robinson said: “The graduation of our bachelor of dementia care students marks an important milestone in our mission to transform dementia care in Australia.”

Graduate Suzanne Teague, who used her retirement to study for her degree, said she enjoyed gaining new knowledge and learning more about herself.

“I am aiming to eventually undertake the bachelor of dementia care honours program and in the meantime, if there is a part-time employment opportunity where I can help those with dementia or their families, I will consider that option,” Teague said.

The bachelor's graduates join a growing number of UTAS dementia care alumni, including 16 associate degree and 96 diploma graduates.

Robinson said he hoped the growing pool of expertise would build capability and leadership for dementia care in multiple settings throughout the community and in residential care. “Enhanced understanding through education will also help make our society more dementia inclusive,” he added.

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