• Every day is an opportunity
    Every day is an opportunity

    Every day is an opportunity

    Kelly Simpson

    Bachelor of Education (Honours) graduate and Director, Laidley Kindergarten

    For early childhood educator Kelly Simpson, every day is an opportunity to capture children’s interest and teach them something new.

    Simpson is an early childhood teacher and director of a kindergarten centre in the rural Queensland town of Laidley. With children aged between three and five years old, Simpson says the formative years of their education are the most important. ‘Research tells us that the first five years of a child’s life are really crucial from an education, learning and social point of view,’ she says.

    ‘They’re curious about how the big, wide world works. And coming to kindergarten gives them a chance to connect to a world that’s bigger than their home and family,’ adds the Southern Cross graduate, who studied education online while working.

    ‘Southern Cross provided the programs that were accredited and specifically in areas that I wanted to learn about.

    ‘I built great relationships with the academics and got to know them well. Everyone was really approachable and easy to contact if you had questions or needed support.’

    I scored a dream job before graduating.
  • Driving positive change

    Driving positive change

    Owen Lednor

    Bachelor of Nursing graduate and Director of Care, The Shoreline Luxury Retirement Living

    As Director of Care at The Shoreline Luxury Retirement Living in Coffs Harbour, New South Wales, Southern Cross graduate Owen Lednor is driving positive change in the aged care sector.

    ‘There have been enormous shifts in the sector over the last three years, but there is still a lot of room for improvement. This role allows me to do that. It’s really exciting working on things like better practice management, improved staff-to-patient ratios, adequately qualified and trained staff, and increased pay rates,’ Lednor says.

    ‘It’s about the teams you build, the friendships you make with your colleagues from all walks of life, the opportunity to learn as a professional and then share that knowledge with others.’

    Completing professional placements provided Lednor with invaluable experience in a range of healthcare settings during his degree.

    ‘The placements were just one aspect of the degree that gave me industry experience. We also had access to professors teaching the course who were industry specialists in their own right. Accessing that really contemporary thinking about care, and care that has people at the centre of everything we do, was critical,’ he says.

    Driving positive change
  • Working for the future of our waterways
    Working for the future of our waterways

    Working for the future of our waterways

    Zoe White

    Bachelor of Marine Science and Management graduate and Waste Education and Compliance Officer, Byron Shire Council

    For marine science graduate Zoe White, working as a scuba diving instructor in Byron Bay, New South Wales, was a catalyst to learn more about caring for marine environments. ‘I love the ocean. It's such an exhilarating place. There's a constant adventure, be it diving, free diving [or] surfing,’ she says.

    ‘I was starting to see a lot of the impacts that our marine environment is facing. I wanted to learn a lot more about that, understand it and get into a position where I could hopefully change and reduce those impacts.’

    The skills and knowledge she acquired through the degree was a perfect foundation for her work in the Byron Shire Council as a Waste Education and Compliance Officer.

    Her role involves overseeing waste and litter minimisation programs, bringing change to the management of her local land and waterways. An important aspect is community education.

    ‘One of the most important skills that I learned while I was studying at Southern Cross University was the ability to be able to communicate effectively. It's nice to be working in a field where you can see things shifting, and Southern Cross [has] helped me to achieve this goal,’ she says.

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