Making a difference for people in the disability and aged care sectors has earned Greenacres executive officer Heather Marciano a prestigious postgraduate scholarship.
Mrs Marciano was named recipient of the annual University of Wollongong Sydney Business School MBA Scholarship at The Illawarra Connection on Tuesday.
Dr Grace McCarthy said the competition was fierce again in 2018 from applicants making a positive impact on the region with their respective careers.
Dr McCarthy said Mrs Marciano was a worthy recipient. “Heather cares. She cares about the community, she cares about the people she works with and the people she serves”.
Mrs Marciano has worked with Greenacres Disability Services, IRT and The Cancer Council during her career.
“What really came across was her passion for the Illawarra and everybody in it. Her career has not been about self interest. She does it because she wants to give back.
“That is really important because this is an award for the community. It is not just for somebody to learn something intellectual. It is to help someone develop their skills so they can help the community even more.”
Mrs Marciano said she was so excited about the scholarship. She started her first degree at 45 and said “to have the opportunity to do an MBA now is just amazing”.
At the Cancer Council she was involved in developing resources for people with an intellectual disability. During that time she established a connection with Greenacres. After completing her degree she started working with IRT and was involved with securing $3 million in government funding to build a community for people with intellectual disability who are ageing and their ageing carers. IRT put in $2 million and partnered with Greenacres through the process.
Mrs Marciano then started work at Greenacres to help it make the transition to the NDIS. With her MBA she said “I would really like to have a look at how we can innovate”.
“With the disability sector going through the greatest period of reform since Medicare I think it is a really important time for the disability sector. And I would really like to make a local impact in terms of how we all operate in that space. I would like to use my studies in that way.”