“I’m due to start the Diploma of Environmental Monitoring and Technology at the Challenger Institute of Technology in Perth in February 2013. I chose the course because I’ve always been interested in both the environment and the mining and gas industries. I currently work for a medical company that sells moving and handling equipment to hospitals in the UK and so have also become very interested in occupational health and safety and the movement of people. All this is covered in the course I’ve chosen. I also loved biology and geography at school and always wanted to do further study – I just never got the chance before.
“I did consider other institutions but found university courses too expensive – TAFE is a lot more manageable in terms of tuition fees. I wanted to study in Perth because my mum lives there, she has been living in Australia for eight years. My husband and I went to visit her there for the first time in April 2011 and we just loved it. The weather, the people and the way of life is so diverse and interesting.
“For me, studying in Australia is actually more affordable as my mum can help with the costs and we can live with her so don’t need to worry about accommodation. In the UK there were not so many courses available in my areas of interest, and those I did find were a long way from my husband’s current job, so would have meant a big family upheaval anyway.
“I’m hoping this experience will be a great one for us. At my age you can never pass up a chance to do something different as it might open doors to get a career in something you love doing rather than just having a job. I am someone who has to enjoy their work, it’s such a waste otherwise – you spend 70% of your life at work! I consider myself lucky in that I love the job I do now and the people I work with are brilliant, so I want to keep that going. I know I’ll enjoy my study experience as it is something I have always wanted to get involved in, I’ve just never had the right opportunities before.
“I am very excited about the course, but I’m also excited about seeing and spending some time with my mother as we have only seen each other for holidays in the last 12 years of my living in England. I am also excited about learning the indigenous flora and fauna of a different country and getting involved with biology of wetlands and doing environmental projects.
“Am I nervous about anything? Only that I might be a lot older than most of the other students, though I was told by the TAFE that they have a lot of mature students so I’m not so worried about that now. I also want to excel at my course and be in the top of the class when I graduate so anticipate lots of hard work, blood, sweat and tears to make that happen!”