Get to know your College: Dennis Asante

Dennis Asante, Research Assistant, PhD candidate (Public Health), based at the Renmark campus

I was born, raised and educated in a small rural community in Ghana, before moving to an urban town for my tertiary studies.

My dream was to become a physician but that was impossible as I did not have the funds. Instead I studied early childhood education and taught for three years in the classroom. After that I took a period of study leave to read for my Bachelor’s degree in political science, specialising in public administration. While at the university, I undertook three voluntary attachments with a hospital, local government council and an NGO in various capacities.

When I returned to the classroom after my degree, I started teaching senior high school students, but still wanted to study further. I applied to undertake a MSc and was fortunate to receive a scholarship to study Public Administration at a Chinese University. After my Masters in 2017, I stayed at the university, working as a research assistant before moving to Flinders University and the Riverland in early 2020, at the start of the pandemic.

As a research assistant, my primary task is to help design and implement research projects with intended positive outcomes to serve the health and wellbeing needs of our community members. I do this through regular assignments from the research lead, community engagements with other RRH staff, and constantly upgrading the skills I require for any assigned task to be completed.

The serene atmosphere in Renmark is very conducive for academic exercise. In the future I hope to work in a role that combines my policy, administrative and research skills to improve health outcomes in rural communities.

One of the best things about Renmark is that there aren’t many distractions and there’s hardly any noise pollution. Also, the community connectedness is quite amazing: my next door neighbours and the staff at the office always welcome me with broad and warming smiles. It’s a lovely space to be and I can’t wait until my wife and children are here to join me! They are still back in Ghana and, sadly, I haven’t seen them for two and a half years. My little boy was born while I was away and I haven’t held him in my arms yet. However, I have just found out that their visas have been approved and they are coming to join me in mid-March. It’s going to be a wonderful time!

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