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Student Stories

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. 

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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. 

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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.   

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:

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.