Bachelor Health Science Student
Currently in her third year of a Bachelor of Health Science, Constance has been working part time to support herself through her studies, but that work has now been cut short. While her single mum has been able to lend a hand in the past, unfortunately COVID-19 has forced her to close her business. Ever the optimist, Constance is determined to complete her studies so that she can go on to help others. To save money she has cut her meals down to one a day.
Amie is a single mother of three children who is studying nursing. She hopes to become a midwife and health researcher. Managing her responsibilities has always been difficult, however COVID-19 has added a lot of extra pressure. In recent weeks, she has had to juggle teaching her kids at home while studying herself. The daycare centre she relied on has closed, so she’s had to reduce her work hours to care for her kids. Amie would like to support front line medical staff and bolster the workforce, however she is worried her graduation may be impacted by the pandemic.
Bachelor of Social Science Student
Gianluca is studying social science and counseling, with the aim of working in child protection. His wife lost her job in January and also returned to study in order to upskill. Due to the COVID-19 crisis they have lost the family support they relied on for babysitting. They take turns caring for and educating their children, while trying to fit in their own study. Without his usual casual work available, it’s been a challenge to make ends meet. Things became so difficult, Gianluca almost gave up studying until a talk with a lecturer inspired him to keep going.
Like a lot of overseas students, Pinu is separated from his family and is concerned for their safety. With the loss of their financial support due to COVID-19, and the loss of his own casual job as a waiter, Pinu now faces the challenge of raising the funds needed to complete the final year of his Masters in Mechanical Engineering. Every spare moment he has is spent applying for casual jobs to help keep a roof over his head.
Primary Education Student
Michelle has just over 12 months to go before graduating as a Primary Teacher. In order to support herself, she has a casual job in a call centre. Due to the COVID-19 crisis, her hours have been cut significantly. This means Michelle has had to carefully balance paying rent, bills and even buying pet food. While this added stress is weighing heavily on her mind, Michelle is looking to the future. She hopes to complete her studies so she can step in as an essential worker and provide some level of normality to children during difficult times like these.
WAAPA Indigenous Theatre Student
Iya is a WAAPA student. She has just completed her first term studying Aboriginal Performance with the hopes of becoming a working creative and performer. With everything that is happening, she is worried about her future and the future of arts and performance. Many theatre companies are closing and the opportunities for graduates may become more limited. However, she is determined to stay positive and work on her craft, even if she has to give her best performances through a screen.
Prior to the coronavirus, York was recovering from an injury and receiving financial support from his parents. By his own admission, not the ideal situation for a 27-year-old to be in. To help out he has taken on a job as a front line temperature tester for COVID-19, leaving for work at 3am and returning home at 8pm. York is community minded and has a strong desire to help others. As a second-year Paramedical Science student, he wishes he could fast forward to graduation so that he could be out helping our first responders.
Cyber Security Student
Sam is 21-year-old cyber security student at ECU Joondalup. He has struggled with adapting to online study during his final semester and being isolated from his peers. While Sam is due to graduate at the end of this year, he is worried about his employment opportunities. Many businesses are facing challenging times, even to the extent of having to let current employees go and he fears they will be unlikely to hire new staff.
Lab Technician, ECU Alumni
Before becoming a lab technician, Wafina completed a Bachelor of Exercise and Sports Science and then a Masters of Sports Science at ECU. Isolation has been a struggle for her. Wafina’s family live overseas and not knowing when she will be able to see them again has been difficult. However, she is determined to stay positive and encourages others to do the same. Wafina would like to urge students to remember that self care is very important during these tough times. She believes the community needs to get behind students, especially those who can offer backup to front line workers.
Midwife, ECU Alumni
Miki completed a Postgraduate Diploma in Midwifery in 2003 and now works in an Infusion Unit giving women intravenous iron and blood products. During the COVID-19 crisis, Miki feels her role (and the role of many medical staff on the front line) is to reassure patients. Her priority is to protect her patients while also ensuring she and her family remain safe. Miki’s advice to current students is to not lose hope and to know that their hard work will all be worth it.
Education Childcare Worker, ECU Alumni
Sally became a kindergarten teacher after completing a Bachelor of Education in Early Childhood Studies in 2017. She has felt the effects of COVID 19 herself, juggling her full time work as an essential childcare worker while also supporting her teenage children. Sally is concerned for current students and is conscious that now, more than ever, we need nurses, teachers and childcare workers in the community. She encourages students to not give up on their dreams and continue to work hard, even if they need to drop down to part time due to money or time constraints.
Ambulance Officer, ECU Alumni
As an ambulance officer, Johanna is on the front line of the COVID-19 crisis. She studied paramedical science at ECU and graduated in February 2020, before being fast-tracked into the workforce. Completing the same training as previous graduates in half the amount of time has been challenging, but she has also found it to be very rewarding. She encourages current students to reach out to their peers and help each other, as the friendships made at university can be an incredible source of support for years to come.