Take ten minutes to get to know our new Education Coordinator, Neil Taplin.
Tell us a little about your life before you joined DHCRC
I grew up in the south-west of England in a town called Bridport on the Jurassic Coast. After an arts foundation course in nearby Bournemouth I studied graphic design and illustration in London. Initial experience as a freelance illustrator led to my first full-time job working for an eLearning start-up initially as an illustrator and animator, and then as a team lead. This role opened my eyes to the possibilities of digital tech and led to a more formal project management role with a digital agency that helped develop curriculum content including for the BBC children’s education website.
We moved to Sydney in 2010: my wife spent time in Australia after university and loved it, so I think we always knew we would make that move at some point. My most recent role here was with the NSW Public Service Commission where I helped support a program of ‘Future of Work’ initiatives and played a key role in a digital capability uplift project that culminated in a learning pilot in February 2020.
What are you looking forward to in your new role at DHCRC?
Digital Health CRC combines my interest in digital learning, and digital capability uplift with a focus on the opportunities in the health sector. DHCRC are running exciting programs that can make a real difference to Australia’s healthcare system and its patients, so I’m looking forward to using my experience to get involved and support those programs in any way I can.
What has sparked your interest in digital health?
COVID-19 has changed the way we work so rapidly. We’re already seeing examples of digital technology improving patient outcomes and allowing healthcare professionals to focus on more productive and meaningful work. Yet it feels like we’re only scratching the surface with lots still to do and many exciting possibilities.
Why do you think education is so important in the digital health sector?
The pace of change in today’s workplace is relentless, nowhere more so than in health. I believe education plays a key role in helping people become more adaptable in this environment by providing opportunities not just to acquire new knowledge but support them in applying that knowledge – in the form of new skills and capabilities – to their work.
What do you like to do outside work?
There’s nothing I like more on the weekend than swimming either in an ocean pool or in the ocean, it’s really invigorating and uplifting, like a mini-holiday and reminds me this is why we came to Australia. I used to be a keen cricketer, and played at u19 level for my county in the UK. These days I sometimes go and practice at the nets at the Sydney Cricket Ground with my son. He is now studying exercise physiology at university, so instead of me giving him my best fast-bowling tips, I’m getting his advice on how to avoid injury. Another part of my learning journey!