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Course coordinator at the National Security College Abby Catucod tells us about the perks of hosting short courses on digital platforms, and enjoying being able to choose where you work – from the kitchen benchtop to the patio.
What is role at Crawford and what do you enjoy most about it?
I’m a course coordinator at the National Security College. The team I’m part of organises executive, professional development and bespoke programs for Commonwealth departments and international clients. What I enjoy most about my work is the learning that comes with every opportunity to put together programs on Australia’s national security issues. The role also comes with occasional perks such as being able to sit in sessions and listen to leading academic experts and practitioners, and if I get lucky enough, hear insights straight from leaders in the national security community.
Describe your home office for us.
My home office is a small desk with the glass wall to my left, giving me natural light and a good view of my little courtyard outside.
What do you enjoy most about working from home/ what do you miss most?
Flexibility – I love that I can move my laptop from my desk to the dining table or kitchen benchtop, or quickly go out in the patio to soak up the sun. It was great having easy access to the television especially at the height of quarantine period when getting the right information was so important in assuring people about the situation. What I miss most are the quick trips to my kitchen for coffee.
All of our jobs have undergone major changes during the COVID-19 crisis. How has your role changed and how might we go about addressing some of the challenges that come with this change going forward?
My role has remained, but due to COVID-19, course delivery has changed from a purely face-to-face training into a blended approach. What this means is that presenters who are overseas or are located in COVID-19 hotspots can still present to our programs through the Webex platform. The first time I have heard about Webex was during the quarantine when I helped organise and set up the Webex meeting for a roundtable discussion for a group of academic experts and senior public servants. Learning to use the Webex system was not so bad because we have already been using Zoom way before that. Now the NSC programs make use of Webex for both virtual presenters as well as participants who are unable to come due to COVID-19 precautions. Enabling technology and internet connectivity are some areas that could be enhanced as we expect virtual courses as the way forward.
Can you give us your top three tips about how to stay positive during the COVID-19 outbreak?
Three Ms - music, mindfulness and meditation.