Get to Know your College: Jenni Thiel, MDRS Program Administrator in the Riverland


What is your role and what does your work focus on?

My role here at RRH (Renmark Campus) is Program Administrator, and I see my focus being to foster a relationship with the students and manage and support them during their year of training in a rural community, in the the MDRS program.

Where did you work before joining CMPH/RRH?

I was employed with the Remark Paringa Council as Customer Service Team Leader – 13 years

Do you have a rural background?

I certainly do – I grew up on a wheat farm around 40 kms from the nearest township, so growing up, always felt a little deprived when my friends could go up the street (we would have to walk 5km to our general store) after school, but we had to come home on the bus and help dad load super into the truck, turn hay bales or feed animals, and attend to other farm duties as required. Now as an adult I look back and appreciate the life that I was lucky enough to have, I know it has given me a greater appreciation for things in life.

Tell us a little about your professional journey and what brought you to this point in your career?

Most of my working life has been both with Local Government and working in Customer Service, just over 30 years all up with LG.  After my first stint with LG, my hubby and I ran a courier business for 7 years, again liaising with people which I really enjoyed but the hours were not good. When the position at Flinders came up, I was attracted once again by the possibility of being able to assist others, but in a much different role, and thought why not give it a try.  It was a bold move for me, as I was very comfortable where I was, however I felt the need for a challenge, and here I am 😊

What is something you love most about your work?

I have a passion to help others and I think this job fits the bill perfectly.

If you could tell your younger self one thing, what would it be?

To be kind to yourself.  I spent a lot of time at war with myself, having very low self-esteem and self-confidence.  I was never very kind to myself, yet when it came to others, I was always warm and sensitive and loving.  I have learnt that I deserve that too.

How do you like to relax or spend your spare time?

I love my garden, even though it gets a bit neglected, reading, catching up with friends for coffee and river time

How do you enjoy living and working in a rural area and what are the benefits and challenges?

I love the laid back and relaxed atmosphere that we have here in the Riverland.  There are many opportunities to make friendships easily with the many sporting and community groups in the Riverland. The obvious challenges are the lack of health services and waiting times for health support and the distance required to travel for specialist treatment.

Tell us something about yourself that others may not know.

I have a side business, Pink Blossom Cakes – I have always had a passion for baking, so took it to the next level about 14 years ago.  I get a lot of enjoyment from seeing my customers appreciate what I create for their special occasion.

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