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Retailing and Medical Science

               After completing tertiary studies and following seven years in part-time hardware retail
               work, including periods as relieving store manager, in 1977 Bruce Watson commenced
               work as a medical scientist specialising in the relatively new scientific field (at the time)
               of biochemistry and clinical chemistry. He took part in the Emergency Pathology Roster
               that required medical scientists to attend to whatever diagnostic test was required after
               hours, e.g., cross-matching blood for transfusion; blood, biochemistry, microbiology,
               immune-haematology and histology tests.

               After three years, Bruce was searching for the next step, and solo travelled internationally
               for 6 months. He did piece work as a plaster’s labourer in London and worked on an apple
               farm for a few months in Sussex, in between travelling widely.

               Bruce subsequently entered the Victorian education sector in 1980. Even at this early
               stage he held a strong interest in the skills required in management and organisational
               development. Bruce deliberately developed these skills personally, professionally, and
               academically through weekend workshops at The Cairnmillar Institute (Melbourne),
               professional development workshops and, further part-time University studies.

               Teaching, Management, and Senior Executive

               After formal training and an internship in secondary/technical school teaching during
               1981, Bruce accepted a secondment invitation from the Department of Education
               Technical Division to teach/lecture in the TAFE component of The Royal Melbourne
               Institute of Technology -University; a large dual-sector university in Melbourne. By 1985 he
               was appointed to the position of Head of Department of Health Sciences and within six
               years he was appointed Head of the School, Health and Community Services. This involved
               successfully overseeing the development of areas such as health, information technology,
               community services, preparatory studies and applied science (e.g., environment, food
               technology and occupational health and safety). It also included the management of
               teaching and training provision to local and international students. A further initiative was
               the development of the provision of commercial services provided by the School, an
               additional income source at a time of reduced State Funding in TAFE.

               Statewide Development Responsibility

               As Head of School, Bruce successfully nominated, on behalf of the university, to assume a
               leadership role for the State-wide development of the area of health paraprofessional and
               apprenticeship education and training for the Office of Training and Further Education
               (OTFE) in Victoria. Over three years (1993 - 1995) the field subsequently developed
               strongly throughout the State and the School of Health and Community Services became
               the major TAFE health provider under Bruce’s leadership.

               He is recognised for initiatives that crossed the boundaries between TAFE and Higher
               Education, and brought industry and professional groups into close partnerships with
               education providers, before it was generally considered “fashionable” or became
               government policy. His ability to comprehend “the big picture” and act on it opened many
               doors to new opportunities and approaches not generally associated with a dual-sector
               university at the time.

               ©2017 HEADS TOGETHER                                                                Page 2
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