The Arbour Berry

Practicing what you preach

Insights from DCM Institute's Learning and Development Manager, Natasha Sargent, follow a recent networking event on NSW's South Coast.

Embarking on my journey in this sector, I’ve really enjoyed visiting our participants at their Villages. I often hear that each Village is different, with its unique types of accommodation, locations, operator models, residents, age of assets, and sizes. However, amidst these differences, is a common thread binds them together—the unwavering dedication of Village Professionals enhancing the lives of their residents.

Unity is strength… when there is teamwork and collaboration, wonderful things can be achieved

Mattie Stepanek

Last week we had the pleasure of visiting The Arbour Berry for our first DCM Institute Networking Meeting, and I’ve been asked to do some reflective learning of my own and share my takeaways.

Learning isn’t confined to a classroom

We have spoken about this before in previous articles, there is a lot you can take away from spending time with peers.

Online learning in the Knowledge Centre is a key part of your development as a Village Professional, but there is real magic that happens when you get to sit in a room, around a table, or have a coffee and share ‘war stories’, as one person called it the other day.

Through casual conversations we were able to walk away with articles to look into reading, and insightful tips to help us develop a new problem-solving skill. Taking the time to network with peers presents an opportunity to expand our horizons.

Knowledge becomes wisdom after it is put to use

What was fascinating was sitting around a table of Village Professionals who had been in the role from 15 years to 15 days, and hearing some of their insights and interactions.

The connection was effortless with each challenge raised, teasing out options, possibilities and pathways forward by others willing to share their own knowledge. It reminds us the most valuable insights can be gained through spending time with peers, whether they’re from your own Village or a neighbouring one.

Networking events, Professional Development Days, and Masterclasses offer more than knowledge. They allow you to learn from peers about how they have put this knowledge into action, what worked, and in some cases, what didn’t.

Lonely is not being alone, it’s the fear that no one cares

During my time it has been fascinating to learn about how spread out this sector is. That many village professionals work similarly to what other sectors call ‘lone workers.’

What I’ve also learned is that when you put a group of Village Professionals in a room together, or on a webinar together, you all quickly realise that you are not alone.

Every Village, while distinct, is supported by dedicated professionals striving for the same goal: the well-being of residents. This shared purpose means that you have a wealth of industry knowledge and support at your fingertips. You all care.

These are my reflections from my own Learning Journal.

Reflections that remind me of the resilience and passion that define this sector. Despite the nuances that distinguish each village, the essence remains unchanged—a shared commitment to creating thriving communities.

Special Thanks

DCM Institute would like to thank Kylie Pickett and the team at The Arbour Berry for hosting us.

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