The 2011 VALA Student Award for a student at RMIT University goes to Ben Chadwick.
Ben spent ten years as a psychologist working in clinical and research roles. He says that soon after graduating with his PhD in Clinical Psychology in 2006, he decided to do some “real work”, and spent two years as an at-home parent. During that time he studied some IT courses and discovered his passion for information management.
His family moved from Brisbane to Melbourne in 2010, where he worked at the State Library of Victoria and commenced the Graduate Diploma of Information Management at RMIT, where he was seen as the ideal student – focussed and serious, but also laid-back and playful. Studying both online and face-to-face, he was a highly motivated and engaged student who generously contributed his knowledge and understanding in class to benefit the learning of others. Ben achieved a High Distinction in every course studied and extended his interest in technology by including a Web Programming course as his elective. He was supportive of staff and has embraced his new field with enthusiasm and intelligence.
Ben demonstrates excellent technical capability balanced with a strong research background and healthy curiosity about people and life. He hopes to capitalise on his background in academic research and statistics by working with metadata for scholarly works, especially data curation. Besides his geeky passion for computer programming, Ben enjoys spending his spare time mowing, doing dishes, and changing nappies.
Congratulations, Ben, and good luck!