James Cook University JCU

James Cook University (JCU) is ranked among the top two per cent of higher education institutions worldwide*. A JCU education equips graduates with the knowledge, work-ready skills and networks for careers that make a difference.

Name: Nicole Dunn

Course: Bachelor of Speech Pathology

Heading to the outback to get hands-on experience was an easy decision for Nicole. 

The final year student ranks her two rural placements, in Katherine and Mt Isa, as the highlight of her time at James Cook University. 

“Growing up in the country, I felt so at home,” she said. “I did a bit of my placement during the day and then after hours and on weekends I went exploring and met the locals.” 

Practical experience for Nicole started from her very first semester in the course, when she did some observation work at the Kirwan Health Centre. From second year, she did some paediatric observation before receiving her first caseload. 

“In second year, I got given two kids to see for one-on-one therapy once a week,” Nicole said. “I just love working with children and other people, and that was when I knew that was right for me. 

“Speech Pathologists go through the human lifespan. You can get jobs in paediatrics – right from when babies are born, all the way through to palliative care. There’s so many different places we can work, and we’re in really high demand, especially in rural areas.” 

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