My formal education was terminated in year nine and I began full time work at age 15. In my early 30s I began to long for education, I wanted knowledge and understanding of the world around me. I eventually, despite an unsupportive home environment, summoned the courage to apply for mature age entry to a university. The journey began.
It was daunting and exciting at the same time, and I questioned whether I’d be able to manage. Higher Education can be highly addictive however, and I just couldn’t get enough. I just kept going with no clear plan or career aspiration. A BA, Grad. Cert. a Grad. Dip an MEd (Hons) and finally a PhD. During my Grad. Dip in Adult Education and Training, I undertook a unit in Adult Learning. It was this that sparked my interest in education, I could see myself and my learning journey experiences in the theory. I knew I wanted to teach adults. I have spent over 20 years teaching adults and I’m fortunate to be currently teaching the Indigenous Studies minor in the B Arts at CQUniversity, in Rockhampton. I thrive on my interactions with my students, and I thrive on teaching Indigenous Studies and sharing my story. I believe that the universe has given me this task. The power to facilitate a learning environment within which students have the opportunity to change their personal and professional lives is extremely rewarding.
There were peaks and troughs along my education journey, but the desire and determination never left me. There were times, when life and people attempted to discourage, and even block me. I was totally committed to my dream and my aspirations never left me. Sometimes my aspirations waivered, but not for long. If RHD students experience adverse circumstances during candidature I strongly encourage them to seek out assistance. It may not be the obvious people within the university that come to the rescue, but please know there are many wonderful university staff who will bend over backwards to help solve issues. The university wants you to complete…it means money.
On reflection, I think there’s always a way. Take on the barriers, tunnel under them, detour around them, climb over them, whatever it takes. Fiercely protect your aspirations and say to yourself: “If it’s to be, then it’s up to me”. Make it happen, the taste of victory is so very sweet!
Best wishes in your future endeavours.