Stefan Bernardi: Graduate Diploma in Occupational Health and Safety

By formalising his on-the-job experience with a postgraduate qualification, Stefan Bernardi is keen to show employers what he’s done and what he can do next.

Even as a kid, Stefan was conscious of safety. “If I saw an electrical lead that was sticking out, I’d be wanting to quickly go pull it out, or switch something off that really didn’t need to be switched off.

“Certainly, back then, I didn’t realise this was my calling. It was only when I grew up that I could see myself studying science and bringing together health, safety and science all into one particular discipline.” 

"This particular course has been excellent because it suits full-time professionals." - Stefan Bernardi, Graduate Diploma in Occupational Health and Safety

Currently working as a senior work health and safety inspector for Comcare, Stefan initially found it challenging to balance full-time work with full-time study after ten years away from academic life.

But RMIT’s flexible timetable and convenient city campus helped him get on track. “This particular course has been excellent because it suits full-time professionals. I could undertake intense lectures at the start of a semester, and the tutorials are facilitated after work, every second Tuesday.

“My office is in the CBD, so it’s really easy for me to knock off and come to a tutorial straight after work.”

Stefan’s top tip for anyone looking to return to study after a long break is to ask as many questions as you want to. “I recall seeking out the course coordinator and really picking her brain, trying to understand the expectations of the course, how it rolls out, the key dates, the type of assignments, and really get a feel for the course content and how it’s played out.”

Fellow and former students helped Stefan, too: “I certainly have touched base with students who’ve completed subjects I’m about to commence. Asking them their thoughts, their opinions, and getting their advice as to what I should do in preparation for the course or subject I’m about to do.”

Armed with years of industry experience and the broad knowledge he’s gaining from his graduate diploma, Stefan is confident about his future.

“I’m looking to consolidate my experiences and academic studies, go out into the industry and present myself as a health and safety professional with an array of experiences – bringing together my formal qualifications and showing prospective employers what I can do, what I’ve got, and how I can help them.”

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