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From high school dropout to Law Valedictorian

All university students are busy, but 2018 CDU Indigenous Valedictorian Mark Munnich takes having a hectic schedule to new heights. Mark was the NT Young Achiever of the Year in 2017, the Ambassador for the Office of Indigenous Student Support at CDU, is a volunteer with the Bilata Indigenous Pathways Program, a member of the Winkiku Rrumbangi Indigenous Lawyers Association, a Treasurer of the NT AIDS and Hepatitis Council and the youngest board member of Danila Dilba Health Service. Mark is now also a Bachelor of Laws graduate and was nominated as Indigenous Valedictorian of his graduating class. Here is Mark's speech. 

Shoring up her industry skills: Emma’s postgrad study story

As the humanitarian aid and disaster management sector evolves, keeping up with best practice and new ways of responding to crises has never been more important. That’s exactly why Emma Kettle chose to return to uni to take on a postgraduate degree. Having worked in the humanitarian aid sector for more than 15 years, Emma enrolled in a Master of Disaster and Emergency Management at CDU to shore up her skills. She’s now the Director of Capability at RedR Australia, a not-for-profit organisation that provides humanitarian response training and assistance to alleviate suffering in post-disaster and emergency situations. Studying online gave me the freedom to continue working Why Emma chose to invest in her professional development After spending many years working in the education and development sectors in the Asia Pacific and Middle East, Emma moved into the humanitarian sector. Her job at RedR Australia involves providing training for first responders to disasters and emergencies in Australia and overseas. She teaches aid workers about the technical and soft skills they’ll need in the field, along with how the humanitarian system works globally. In 2014, Emma decided it was time to invest in her own professional development and enrolled in her Master’s degree. At CDU, I could tailor my Master’s degree to suit my professional needs and interests “Although I had worked in the sector for about 15 years, I didn’t have a formal qualification in my field,” she explains. “My undergraduate degree was totally unrelated to humanitarian work. I was looking for a postgraduate degree that would consolidate my skills and add depth to my practice.” “At CDU, I could tailor my Master’s degree to suit my professional needs and interests. I chose to specialise in cultural competency, which is a huge part of my job at RedR. I completed some fantastic units that taught me so much about how people understand, communicate and interact in culturally-diverse contexts.”   How Emma balanced studying online with work and travel As she’s based in Melbourne and travels extensively for work, Emma completed her Master’s mostly online, with a few short trips to Darwin to complete intensive units in disease and health control. “My experience at CDU was really positive. I enjoyed getting back to study after such a long time away from uni, although there were some surprises along the way,” she says. “Students are a lot more independent now than they were 15 years ago. Most of us were studying remotely and logging onto lectures virtually.” “Studying online gave me the freedom to continue working. I logged on to the online learning platform a few times a week, carving out time when it suited me. And one of the best things was regular and easy access to the course coordinator. She was really responsive and any time I had a question it was just a case of shooting off an email.” On travelling up to Darwin, Emma says: “It was only ever two weeks away from home and a good dose of face-to-face time. The opportunity to work alongside my peers gave me that great sense of collegiality.” I enjoyed getting back to study after such a long time away from uni Why Emma chose CDU “There are so many courses on offer now. I chose CDU because I travel so much in my job, so it was a huge advantage to be able to do a lot of the study remotely,” Emma said. “In some ways, the mode of study – whether it’s online or in a classroom – is just as important as the course content. The course content at CDU was exactly what I needed and I found it really valuable to be able to learn the way that I wanted to.”

Balancing parenting and uni: is the reward worth the risk?

Are you a parent considering going to uni but not sure if the reward is worth the risk? Hear from Jason, a proud father who graduated from a Bachelor of Nursing with CDU. He was working full time, mostly night shifts, while studying full time online. His daughters watching him was his greatest source of motivation.

Burpees for mental health awareness: Bridie’s story

Burpee master, 2017 Northern Territory Young Australian of the Year and CDU Alumni, Bridie Duggan, is on a mission to raise awareness about mental illness prevention, and to spread the word about the positive impacts physical activity can have on mental health. She candidly shared with us how a personal tragedy inspired her to set Australia on the path to mental health wellbeing, all while gaining incredible success along the way.   

From bridging course to Mechanical Engineering

Rikki Bruce graduated with a Bachelor of Engineering* from CDU in May 2018. She was nominated by her lecturers as a valedictorian for her outstanding personal achievements and academic record. Here's her full graduation speech, where she shares her determination to create a better future for her family.  * This course has been replaced by the Bachelor of Engineering Science.

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A chance at a second career

Mauro Del Citto is proof that anyone can make a mid-life career change, regardless of education or personal background. A Melbourne native, Mauro was in his early forties when he decided to make the switch from health administration to pursue a career in law. He recently took time out of his busy career to tell us about his journey and the massive challenges he overcame along the way.

Mastering the Internet of Things

Alwyn Jose recently graduated with a Master of Information Technology (Software Engineering) at CDU. Last year, he won the IT Code Fair business and innovation challenge with his CDU Smart Parking system, which enables users to find vacant parking spaces via sensors that inform an app, when a driver comes within 2km of their destination. We asked him some questions about his experience as a CDU student. 

Kirstie: A Visual Arts student drawing inspiration from her reality

Dreaming of a career as an artist? See how Kristie Scullen, a Visual Arts graduate of CDU, made it her reality. Read on to find out what motivated her to follow her passion, her influences, and how she grew creatively through her studies, life experience and perception of the world. 

Explore our 2019 courses

Looking to start study this year? Explore our courses on offer from health, business, education, science, arts and more.

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Larissa's Top End adventures: on the trail of a mysterious mammal 

Passionate about ecology and wildlife, Larissa Potter graduated with a Bachelor of Science with first class Honours, from CDU in October 2017. She was nominated by her lecturers as a Valedictorian for her outstanding academic record. Here's her full graduation speech, where she recounts what sparked her move to Darwin from Sydney, and where she shares her experiences doing field work on the Tiwi Islands while searching for the elusive, tiny mammal called Butler’s Dunnart.  

Never give up, never give in: Gabby's inspirational story

Success is not determined by your past but by your own perseverance. Gabby's story sounds like a Hollywood movie script, but we can assure you, it's real life. She didn't finish high school and as a disadvantaged youth, she found herself homeless. Decades later, after raising her own children, she's fulfilling her dream to study a Law degree and fight for youth, Indigenous and human rights.

Why I changed course to become a midwife

Ishita Singhal originally studied Information Technology before deciding to pursue a career she was truly passionate about. In October 2017, she graduated with a Bachelor of Midwifery from CDU and couldn’t be happier with her decision. We asked Ishita about what motivated her to follow her study goals, as well as her experiences as a CDU student and the challenges she faced along the way to become a midwife.

We Love Graduation

We loved seeing the support given to our October Graduates by friends and family. It gave us a glimpse of the positive impact our students have on their community.  

Zach Davis: a roaring success

Zach Davis has a passion for working with cars. Through CDU’s VET for Secondary Students, Zach was able to start studying a Light Automotive Certificate whilst he was in high school. After graduating last October, he went to the Gold Coast 600 to work with the Red Bull Holden Racing team.

Forging your career path through study: Talal's experience

When you’re mapping a path to achieve your career goals, you’ll likely be looking at a university and a degree that can help you land a full-time job pretty quickly after graduation. But what if you could accelerate things a bit? Talal Sabri chose to study Master of Accounting (Professional Practice) at CDU because of the program’s work-experience component. Thanks to his determination, Talal was offered a full-time position even before his graduation.

Tackling real-world challenges with engineering

If you’ve always had an interest in science, maths and technology, see how you can apply these theories to practical challenges and help shape a better future.     

When the accounting profession is your passion: Ajit's story

Accounting has always been a passion for Ajit Shinde. In his early twenties Ajit studied a Master of Accounting (Professional Practice) at CDU's Waterfront campus in Darwin. Today, he works as a senior auditor and helps accounting students overcome barriers during their professional practice placements. His number one piece of advice: "You need to know what you love doing and then everyday of your life is a blessing". Read on to see what this alumnus has to say about studying accounting. 

Needing inspiration? Check out this 'My Story' doco

Hear from some amazing women from around the world who now call Darwin home. This recent Darwin Community Arts project showcases five stories of inspiring and courageous women who migrated to Australia, studied at Charles Darwin University and established their lives and careers in the Northern Territory. The project was initiated by Creative Producer Silpi Dhungana Pant and filmed by her husband, Nitesh Raj Pant, who is currently studying Tourism at CDU. Within two days of publishing on social media, it reached more than 10,000 views globally. 'My Story' is the video documentary based on the life story of courageous, independent and inspiring women of our community here in Northern Territory.  

I studied to make a local impact

Samuel Keitaanpaa has spent the last few years studying pharmacy, but hasn’t waited until completing his studies to start creating positive change and making plans to shape a better future for healthcare in the Northern Territory. Here's his story...

After four degrees, I found my passion in Law

Caitlin Marshall studied Law online with CDU, graduating with First Class Honours. After trying her hand at a few other different degrees, she was compelled to chase her dream in Law.