SwanCare's Food Services Dietician, Alicia Peng has recently been awarded with Curtin University's Excellence in Supervision.
At SwanCare, we enrich lives for a living, and that means providing our residents with quality nutrition! We know the best way to achieve this is by recruiting people who are not only exceptionally talented, but passionate about meeting our residents’ needs.
Alicia Peng, our Food Services Dietician, is certainly one of these people. Alicia recently stepped up to the plate, supervising two Curtin University students as they underwent six weeks of community placement during their final year for their Master of Dietetics. She made such an impact that her students nominated her for the university’s Excellence in Supervision award, which she won!
SwanCare’s General Manager of Health and Aged Care Services, Julie Atkinson (pictured with Alicia), shared the pride that Alicia’s achievement has brought to the entire SwanCare team.
“We are so proud of Alicia. She has always shown dedication in her field as her journey has taken her from being a student at Curtin, to working with us as a Food Service Attendant, to her current role as Food Service Dietician. Her confidence and growth has been outstanding, and it is a true example of how SwanCare encourages staff to extend themselves while we mentor them to achieve their personal best. When people support each other, incredible things happen.”
We spoke to Alicia about the personal significance of winning this award and how she plans to use her newfound skills to nourish our SwanCare residents.
What did you learn from your experience supervising students on community placement?
“I have learnt how to supervise, provide critical feedback, improve my time management skills and create activities to meet their competencies. I have gained insights into areas I was unfamiliar with, such as media communication and new technology skills used to collect information.”
What does receiving the Excellence in Supervision award mean to you?
“I was surprised that I was nominated by my students, and I feel grateful as it provides a form of validity to the work and service I provide. With the award, I feel more motivated to continue to grow as a supervisor, as well as a dietitian.”
What do you enjoy the most about being a Food Services Dietician at SwanCare?
“I enjoy the fact I am able to collaborate with different individuals who also seek to improve the residents’ quality of life. Every day is different; they vary based on the projects I am working on and the day-to-day challenges, such as changes to dietary preferences, looking into recipes or allergy management, which I collaborate with the respective hospitality staff members.”
Could you tell us about some of the nutrition and hydration initiatives you have implemented at SwanCare?
“Some of my initiatives were advocating to expand our capabilities to cater for various dietary preferences, such as vegetarian, gluten-free and different food allergies. I also conduct internal audits to ensure meals and drinks are compliant with the current standards. At the moment, I am working alongside others on the Summer Hydration Awareness Campaign. The campaign's goal is to ensure residents and staff are aware of the importance of hydration during the summer period. My latest project involves collaborating with hospitality team members to ease the transition to our new food standards.”
What made you choose to work at SwanCare?
“I have chosen SwanCare because I can relate to SwanCare’s vision and purpose of enriching the lives of people within our community. We have many residents who come from all walks of life and I feel connected to them, which is why I am so grateful to be part of a team that creates a safe and caring community for them to live in.”
Is there anything people might be surprised to learn about a career at SwanCare?
“Yes, people might be surprised by how supportive staff members are, having a great management team who are open to suggestions, a fun work environment, and a long-term career projection.”
What advice would you give to someone interested in pursuing a career in dietetics?
“I would say go for it. I have found the career rewarding, especially in helping individuals through food. It’s a broad profession that allows creativity in many different fields, such as developing healthy recipes with companies or creating community healthy eating program sessions to clinical practice in hospitals. It’s a profession where you’ll be learning for life.”
From her outstanding accomplishment to enriching the lives (and stomachs!) of our residents daily, we feel so lucky to have Alicia as part of our SwanCare team! Thank you for sharing your story with us, Alicia, and congratulations on your incredible achievement!