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Student Stories

Taking the next step in my early childhood career: Tannille's story

After a few years in the big smoke, Tannille moved back to the regional, coastal town of Elliston in South Australia with her husband and young family. It was the perfect opportunity to take a new professional direction. She started a family day care centre and with her business underway, the mum of three decided it was time to gain her bachelor's degree in early childhood education. Here's her story. 

Why I'm finally doing a teaching degree: Wendy's story

After a decade or so of working in a range of jobs and raising two daughters, Wendy show us it's never too late to follow your passion. She's studying a teaching degree online at CDU from her home in Victoria, while juggling family and work. Here's how giving herself permission to do something she loves is preparing her for a challenging and rewarding career.  

Why I changed careers to become a teacher: Sallie's story

After 15 years as an event manager, Sallie decided it was time for a change after her second daughter arrived. She took the plunge and applied to study a teaching degree online at CDU, which she'd been thinking about for a while. Here's how she's putting her creativity, organisational and time management skills to task as she juggles her teaching degree, family and three jobs. 

My two weeks in the Amazon protecting turtles

As part of her Bachelor of Environmental Science, CDU student Erica Smith seized the opportunity to cross Brazil off her travel bucket list as she took part in the two-week Brazilian Amazon Field Intensive (BAFI) offered by CDU's College of Engineering, IT and Environment. Erica is currently half-way through her degree and determined to major in Wildlife Conservation.  For the past five years, Erica studied part time so she could fit in her work schedule. Last year, she moved to Darwin from a remote community in East Arnhem Land to transition into full time study at Casuarina Campus and make faster progress toward completing her studies. 

From the Navy to Engineering, via rural India: Meet Dion

From working as an Electrical Marine Technician in the Navy, enrolling in a Bachelor of Engineering, to eventually finding himself in Western India as part of an Engineers Without Borders Summit, CDU student Dion Morrow’s path to becoming an Electrical Engineer as certainly been an interesting one. Here, Dion explains what led him to CDU, and why his trip to India highlighted the way in which engineering and humanitarian efforts can be linked. 

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Why I moved to Darwin to study Psychology

Victorian native Matthew Cartwright was on a road trip from Darwin to Katherine in July last year, when he saw a sign on the road for Charles Darwin University. At the time, Matt was in his final year of a Bachelor of Psychology down in Melbourne, and was planning his next move.

A 'once in a lifetime' summer interning at Harvard Law School

Each year, one high-achieving Law student from CDU is selected to travel to Harvard Law School and work as as a legal intern at the Harvard Immigration and Refugee Clinic. Paul Larder is one of the students who went on this four-week, life-changing trip. It was an exceptional opportunity to develop his migration law knowledge and skills, while working and studying at one of the most elite law schools in the world. Here's his story. 

From high school dropout to law valedictorian

Mark dropped out of high school in year 10. Fast forward a few years: he holds a law degree, is involved in countless legal education and community initiatives, was named NT  Young Achiever of the Year in 2017 and nominated as Indigenous valedictorian of his graduating class at CDU.  His valedictorian speech will inspire the most uninspired. Here's what he had to say. 

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I'm living my best life at CDU Sydney

Sydney is Australia’s largest and most famous city with a lively and vibrant buzz that makes it the ultimate destination year-round. The city always has plenty of things to do no matter what the season and it's the perfect place for those students coming in from overseas to study here. We took the opportunity to speak to Bachelor of Accounting student, Ashweeta Paudel about her CDU Sydney experience so far.

I went back to uni at 55 to better understand human behaviour

Darwin-born Cathryn Doney had a professional IT consulting career before she decided to study Psychology at CDU. Cathryn plans to draw on her life experience and skills to succeed. She is aiming to pave her way to a future in research, academia, applied learning, or in a consulting capacity at the junction of technology, organisational design and psychological science. 

Studying Science to become an ecologist: Alana's story

CDU student Alana de Laive has developed a keen interest in wildlife and herpetology. She has worked in various roles as an ecologist and wildlife keeper and wanted to further her career by undertaking a part-time Bachelor of Science (Ecology) degree with CDU. Alana is continuing her studies with an Honours project focusing on the conservation of the giant Amazon River turtle.  

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.”

Studying to start a career in humanitarian aid: Cecilia’s story

Cecilia wants a career helping people, so she’s studying a Bachelor of Humanitarian and Community Studies at CDU. After travelling for a while and spending some time working with children, she’s upped the ante and is completing her degree so she’s prepared to work with refugees and special migrants. Read on to find out how she’s finding the course, getting job-ready and managing her studies.

Margo's advice for Year 12 students

Making it through Year 12 and deciding to take the leap from high school to uni can feel overwhelming at times. If you’re feeling nervous about your Year 12 final exams or still deciding what would be the right step after high school for you, try not to worry! It's more common than you may think to not have all the answers.   Third-year CDU Law student Margo Hi can relate. She shares some advice on how to approach this important time in your life.

Studying to support the refugee community: Esther's story

Meet Esther Canmue. A refugee herself, she’s passionate about providing support for new refugees arriving in Australia. She’s investing in her career by studying a Bachelor of Humanitarian and Community Studies at CDU – while working full time as a refugee and asylum seeker support worker and raising a family. Read on to see how she’s balancing study, life and work to reach her goals. 

Unraveling the mystery of northern Australia’s most elusive mammal

Alyson Stobo-Wilson is an Environmental Scientist completing her PhD at Charles Darwin University. Alyson participated in the Three Minute Thesis Competition (3MT) and was the runner up with her topic Unraveling the mystery of northern Australia’s most elusive mammal. 

Coming home to give back to the environment: Alyson’s PhD story

Alyson Stobo-Wilson is an Environmental Scientist completing her PhD at Charles Darwin University. Many of her days are spent traipsing through the tropical savannas of northern Australia collecting data on a new species of marsupial glider. Ultimately, Alyson’s research will form the basis of knowledge on this particular species and help with its conservation, as well as inform management of other tree-dwelling mammals in northern Australia. But Alyson’s remarkable experience as a higher degree by research student at CDU hasn’t been without sacrifice – read on for her full story.

Ten study tips for surviving your uni degree

Unless you’ve studied at university before, it can all seem a little overwhelming. Between attending lectures, doing assignments and readings, and fitting in the odd coffee or run, life can get busy. We asked some CDU students what their ultimate study tip is for those who are just starting their uni journey. Read on to learn from the best. 

Sustainability, socialising and studying abroad: Shannon’s story

As an NT local, Shannon always had her sights set on CDU for when she finished Year 12. She’s now in her fourth year of studying a Bachelor of Engineering/Master of Engineering (Civil & structural) at the Casuarina campus in Darwin. Shannon will be graduating with great memories from her time at uni: she’s travelled to Indonesia on a humanitarian research trip; made new friends; started one of CDU’s most active social clubs; been an Engineers Australia Student Ambassador for CDU; won three awards (so far) for outstanding achievement and commitment; and received various scholarships, proving that hard work does pay off!