Congratulations Fiona McDonald: Award for Excellence in the field of Marriage and Relationship Education.
This award recognises outstanding or exceptional service or contribution to marriage and relationship education. Recipients may be an individual, team, or program.
Fiona began her Relationship Ed career/apprenticeship at Anglicare in the early 90’s.and in 2000 she joined Western Australia Relationships Australia after completing her degree. She has been passionate about relationship education and its benefits for couples, individuals and families and as such over the years has developed a number of very successful programs. These include Relationship Education for couples (pre marriage), Prepare-Enrich, 8 week program for couples “Building Better Relationships” based on John Gottman work; weekend programs for couples and single session programs that responded to need. She established Step Family programs, Parenting Programs, Men’s Anger Management Programs and programs for those leaving a relationship.
She has always believed that for relationship education to work you need in depth well trained, and supported facilitators. If you have highly skilled facilitators, then the groups run well. She has challenged the concepts of people not wanting to attend groups and that men won’t come. Her testimony to this is that WARA has a wonderful legacy of well-oiled programs grown over the years that are always full.
In 2010 she also challenged the state training body to establish a CERT IV in Relationship Education and then conducted this for 5 years. It was the only official Rel Ed training program in Australia.
She has served on the National MAREAA Exec, been on both state and national conference committees (indeed she is on the current one) and has been a driver of MAREAA WA state activities.
She has recently retired but her passion for relationship education will live on at RA and is a model for the rest of Australia.