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Student Stories

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!

Zarah shows us it's never too late to become a lawyer

After moving to Australia, trying her hand at a range of jobs and starting a family, Zarah Tenorio's dream of becoming a lawyer is finally becoming a reality. She's just started her Bachelor of Laws and is already kicking goals. She's even received an Outstanding Academic Achievement Award. Read on to see how she's navigating life as a law student and working mum. 

Balancing study and a great social life

Muriel Scholz moved from Katherine to begin studying a  Bachelor of Science at CDU and has chosen to live on campus at  International House Darwin (IHD). She loves to socialise with the domestic and international CDU students who also reside at IHD  and shares her experience about making life-long friends at uni, and tips about how to balance study and social life with us. I was born and raised in Katherine, just down the road. Darwin and CDU seemed like a good place to start off, being so close to home and something I was comfortable and familiar with. Initially, I discovered IHD by staying here briefly on a high school excursion but rediscovered it myself through researching accommodation options once I'd decided to move to Darwin. 

Burpees for mental health awareness: Bridie’s story

Burpee master, 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.   

Back in the saddle to further my career

Emma Host is a Darwin local who left high school 20 years ago. She’s had a successful corporate career but some roadblocks on her way to the top of the ladder challenged her to take a new path. Emma is currently completing a Bachelor of Accounting full time at the CDU Darwin Waterfront campus with the goal of furthering her career. It was an obvious choice for Emma to stay in Darwin to pursue her degree. She explains to us why she is determined to enjoy what she considers the time of her life studying at CDU.   

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I'm the first in my family to go to uni

Beth Cooper is a proud Wiradjuri woman from Canberra; passionate about Australian history, design, communication and solving community development issues. Last year, she moved to Darwin to pursue her life goals; kick-starting her study dreams with CDU's free Tertiary Enabling program. Coming from a line of strong women, Beth is the first person in her family to go to university and is currently pursuing a combined Bachelor of Arts/Bachelor of Laws degree in the hope to become a workers’ rights advocate. We caught up with her to celebrate her first High Distinction grade and to hear about her story.   

A remote-area Nursing student in the Outback

With a passion for improving the mental health outcomes for people living in remote and rural communities, Rachel Ashton has proudly completed her last two clinical placements in the Northern Territory as part of her Bachelor of Nursing degree with CDU.  We asked Rachel about what motivated her through her study journey as well as her experiences on placement, and the challenges she faced along the way to become a Registered Nurse.

What makes a good study buddy

Sometimes, it can feel isolating to study alone. That’s where a study buddy can come in handy to keep you motivated in achieving your study goals. Having a study buddy on deck is also a great way to make new friends. We asked five CDU students what makes a good study buddy:

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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From bridging course to Mechanical Engineering

When Rikki Bruce graduated with a Bachelor of Engineering* from CDU, 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.

How Kelly managed study commitments while moving interstate, twice!

Meet Kelly, an external student who will be graduating in 2019 with her Bachelor of Science. Read how she has taken study head-on while moving interstate and what motivates her to keep on with her studies. 

Mauro's chance at a second career in law

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

Elizabeth: Balancing work, study and family

Wondering if it’s possible to balance study and family? In the lead up to Mother's Day, Elizabeth Sandow shared with us her hopes and honest experience about being a dynamic mum who works full time while studying a Diploma of Laws online at CDU. 

Learning to live away from home for uni

During her gap year, Tess Riordan worked with children with disabilities in Wodonga, Victoria. She got a real kick out of watching the children grow and learn new skills. Knowing that she wanted to continue being part of this process, Tess enrolled in Charles Darwin University’s Bachelor of Education (Primary) degree.

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. 

Stephanie’s on a mission to create positive and lasting change

Stephanie hopes to use the knowledge and experiences gained while studying a Bachelor of Humanitarian and Community Studies with CDU to initiate social change. 

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

Passionate about ecology and wildlife, Larissa Potter graduated from CDU with a Bachelor of Science with first class Honours. 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.  

New country, new friends: How William combined a teaching degree and travel

Motivated by a desire to see how people learn in other countries, William Jansen decided to combine his teaching degree and travel. He travelled to Germany as part of CDU’s Global Mobility program, spending four weeks at the Philipps-Universität of Marburg in their Summer University Program. Read on to see how his overseas experience and newfound friends gave him a fresh perspective on education. 

How Gabby is forging a legal career, even against the odds

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.