Staff profile – Sue Davis
Name: Sue Davis.
Title: Learning Resource Centre Coordinator, part time.
School: The School of Occupational Therapy and Social Work.
How long have you worked at Curtin?
On and off for five years.
Where did you work prior to starting at the University?
I was contracted to the Department of Housing for more than 17 years, working in building and design and home modifications for people with disabilities. This lead to a project management role in home modifications at the Independent living Centre (ILC) for a short period before relinquishing full time work and commencing at Curtin.
What do you like best about your role?
The position provides interaction with both staff and students in a stimulating environment. The mentoring of students as they navigate their individual path, grow and develop is most rewarding. I also get to work with wonderful people, in particular Angus, the Head of School, and Anthea, my job share partner, who provide support, autonomy and cooperation in the day-to-day running of the Learning Resource Centre. The part time role also provides necessary life balance as I juggle the care of aged parents.
Why did you choose your current career path?
More good luck than good planning. I always knew I would do something that involved interaction with people. At the time of choosing my career path, I encountered an occupational therapist treating my grandmother following a stroke. I was fortunate to spend two days with the therapist and decided it was what I wanted to do. I’ve never regretted my choice.
At the age of 15, I was a sales assistant at Sussan over the Christmas holiday break. I earned $22 per week and got a small discount on clothing from the store. I loved it!
My first OT position was at Royal Perth Hospital in Burns and Plastics. Freda Jacob was the Head of Department at the time, and I was privileged to be exposed to her work ethic and vision as a pioneering occupational therapist. I remained at RPH for three years before moving to the ILC, which was another of Freda’s initiatives.
Scrubbing the black rubber flooring at the entrance to the Sussan store in the Hay Street Mall at the end of the day, as customers were still coming in and out of the store.
In terms of OT I have enjoyed every position I have held.
What project are you currently working on and what does it involve?
In the Learning Resource Centre, we are continually updating resources. We are currently culling some of the older texts. I get a little distracted with the historical information.
Your favourite place in the world and why?
I do love Italy and France but equally love places closer to home and find it hard to choose. My WA favourites include walking Matilda Bay with my dog, Stella, any time of the day, the Bibbulmun Track between Walpole and Denmark, from the depths of the Tingle Forests to the rugged South West coastline, and the Kimberley for the inexplicable beauty.
Your favourite cuisine and why?
Oh do I have to choose? One of my greatest loves in life is food. I like all kinds of food and all of my holidays become gastronomic tours. Possibly anything Italian – ‘Italy is Eataly’. I love simplicity and passion and, most of all, sharing with family and friends filled with laughter and a nice little red.
What is the best piece of advice you have received?
Be happy with your lot in life and see the humor in things as ‘the happiest people don’t have the best of everything; they just make the best of everything they have’.
Tell us something about yourself that your colleagues wouldn’t know?
I nearly derailed myself a few years ago with a sporting accident…playing golf. I managed to impale my arm on a spear top pool fence. How? You may ask…