Merv’s guiding philosophy in youth work has been: ‘Kids can do remarkable things, if they have remarkable things to do’. These ‘remarkable things’ have included:
- The Studebaker Project - a group of young people built a fibreglass roadster, sold it and travelled to the US for three weeks.
- Young Traders - a student enterprise program that enabled students to travel to many interstate and international locations.
- Talent Afloat - Australia’s first and only off-shore sailing excursion for secondary students. Young people crewed on two yachts sailing from Pt Fairy (Victoria) to King Island (Tasmania) and back.
- Plasform - Developing curriculum packages in plastics technology and marketing them to other schools - earning them The Age/Macquarie Library Curriculum Excellence Award in 1992.
- avec esprit - a New Practices in Flexible Learning project that established the suitability of using innovative design projects as a context for the development of 'soft' skills such as creativity and emotional resiliance. The project won the Excellence in Innovation and Design Award by the Australian National Training Authority in 2004.
In between these projects, Merv has travelled the world, built an aeroplane, designed and built a yacht to take his family sailing the Barrier Reef, and made a fiberglass sportscar.
Merv has trade, teaching, business and workplace training qualifications, a Degree in Social Science, a Graduate Diploma of Human Givens (UK), and in 1993 was awarded the Outstanding Contribution to Education Award at Government House for his work with young people. He has conducted workshops and presented at many conferences in Australia, New Zealand and the UK. In 2007, Merv became the first Australian qualified in the Human Givens approach to emotional health and currently divides his time between providing professional development and private therapeutic practice.
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