Doctor of Philosophy student
What postgraduate course are you undertaking at UQ?
A Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) in Science. I am enrolled through the School of Veterinary Science and my research project is conducted at the QLD Institute of Medical Research. My PhD project is on the infectious skin disease Scabies, caused by the parasitic scabies mite. The focus of my project is on the mechanisms used by the scabies mite to evade the human immune system.
What has been your experience as an Indigenous Australian postgraduate student at UQ?
I am enjoying being a postgraduate student. A PhD is like an apprenticeship for your career, so you are so much more focused and you have a real sense of building towards your future. The responsibilities are greater and there is a lot more paperwork and people management, but it is all more rewarding. I am finding it to be an exciting time, because I have a real sense that I am doing something important.
What support have you found useful?
A great laboratory team and supervisors makes all the difference. Being a part of a team means you’re never alone and will always have someone to talk to professionally and personally. Reach out to community groups associated with your research as well, especially Indigenous groups. I have always found that these are the groups who are excited to hear about Indigenous students taking their education and career to the next level and are highly supportive.
Do you have advice for other Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students considering postgraduate study?
Be proactive about your education and career, no one will care as much about your future as you will. One of the biggest challenges I found was getting the right information, you just have to keep searching till you find the information you need. The next was getting past my shyness to start putting myself out there so people knew who I was. When people are aware of you they start sending you information, and opportunities you never thought about start to happen. But it all begins with you taking those first steps.