Nine years ago, Errol Chua and his wife left their native Singapore and arrived in Australia with only two suitcases. Errol boldly carved a new future for himself in Darwin and eventually graduated from Charles Darwin University’s School of Law with First Class Honours. Along the way, he completed a prestigious internship with Harvard Law School. Read on to find out how this mature-aged student found academic success.
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.”
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Ishita Singhal originally studied Information Technology before deciding to pursue a career she was truly passionate about. After graduating with a Bachelor of Midwifery from CDU, she 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 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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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...
Meet Calista Hudson who graduated with a Certificate III and IV in Fitness from CDU. Hear about her experience studying on campus at Casuarina and how she contributes back to CDU through the Alumni network.