Before they began Churchill Education, our co-founders, Tricia Velthuizen and Randall Smith, had very different occupations. Tricia was a Crown Prosecutor with the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions in Queensland and Randall was a Senior Detective for the Queensland Police Service.
In these former lives, both Tricia and Randall received a fairly prestigious award – a Churchill Fellowship.
The Winston Churchill Memorial Trust is an organisation that was established in 1965 after the death of Sir Winston Churchill. This Trust awards Fellowships to citizens who want to travel overseas to conduct research on an issue they feel passionate about (when they have exhausted all avenues of investigation within Australia). Fellows can gather knowledge and access expertise and then return, inspired, to share their new knowledge at home, benefitting the greater Australian society.
Tricia was granted a Fellowship in 2002, and travelled throughout the USA and Canada to study programs which help child witnesses cope effectively with the pressures of the witness box in criminal trials.
Randall was awarded a Fellowship in the same year, and also travelled through the USA and Canada to study police investigations of clandestine drug laboratories.
The trust was established to honour the memory of Sir Winston Churchill, who had liked the idea of an alternative memorial, and suggested something like the Rhodes Scholarships, but more egalitarian. This led to the concept of travelling Fellowships in his name, to facilitate the exchange of ideas and education for ordinary people.
When they decided to establish Churchill Education, Tricia and Randall wanted to honour the Fellowships they had been awarded, and the objective of the Trust – providing opportunities for education. Which brings us to today!
Churchill Education first opened its doors in 2006. In the previous year, Randall had to step down from his position as a senior detective with the Queensland Police Service due to a PTSD diagnosis. Despite 16 years in the Force, he found that his skills weren’t readily transferrable and so began looking into recognition of prior learning (RPL)…. Let’s just say it wasn’t a simple process! And that is when the idea of creating a service to make this easier and more accessible for others was born…. But that’s another story. You can read all about that here.
If you’d like to take advantage of our free RPL assessment service, either call us on 1300 793 002 or complete the form.