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How one student’s family inspired her future in marine conservation

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Have you turned your passion into a degree?

Meet Brodie, a Torres Strait Islander and Coastal and Marine Science student specialising in Environmental Management. She found a way to turn her passion for the ocean and marine life into a future career!

With ancestors who come from Saibai Island in the Torres Strait, Brodie’s family ties initially drew her to study the conservation side of her degree. She says in today’s world, there’s a big shift to environmental sustainability, and she is interested in being a part of that shift.

Brodie’s favourite things about her course is the hands-on learning experience. She was recently part of a Vacation program (VAC) with Rio Tinto, where she spent three months up North getting experience in the environmental management side of her degree. For the last few weeks of her placement, she travelled to Cape Lambert where did took part in turtle monitoring.

Originally from Pemberton, Brodie said the biggest challenge of studying at Curtin was moving to Perth. And despite her initial doubts, the community at St Catherine’s College has felt like a second home.

“I don’t have much family up here in Perth. It was a big shift from very rural country area into the big city. I didn’t think I would last very long, but I’ve found my place now.”

A highlight of Brodie’s time at uni are the opportunities she has been exposed to through her studies. Specifically, the many companies, scholarships and different environmental VAC programs she has had access to through her degree. She says meeting people in her field and hearing their stories has been super rewarding, but one of the biggest highlights has been learning more about herself and how to step outside of her comfort zone.

“Nobody knows you in your classes. You don’t know anybody when you’ve moved to other places. So really putting yourself out there and getting to know people is one thing that I’ve learned and overcome.”

Aside from her studies, Brodie is involved in a variety of extracurriculars. She is part of Curtin Divers – and it was through the club that she got her scuba ticket and was able to go diving. She also competes in the Indigenous Nationals University games, which is a five-day sports competition that brings hundreds of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students from unis across Australia together to compete.

Last week, Brodie represented Curtin with the Deadly Kardaz in Melbourne for the competition, competing in sports including basketball, netball, touch rugby and volleyball. Brodie says she loves being part of the team as it’s a great way to meet other Indigenous students from around Australia and learn about what they’re studying.

For Brodie, NAIDOC week is a time of Reconciliation, and bringing awareness to people that may not know much of Australia’s history and the world’s longest living culture. To celebrate the NAIDOC theme for this year, For Our Elders, Brodie is reflecting on an elder who has made a big impact on her life.

“An elder in my community, they’re not Torres Strait Islander, but from my hometown, I have a family friend and she’s amazing and she really pushed me to go to uni because education is a big thing in the Indigenous community.”

After graduation, Brodie would love to keep learning. “It doesn’t mean I’m going to keep studying, but rather learning in whatever I’m doing.”

Whether it be in Queensland doing a Master, or completing research for the CSIRO, one thing she’s certain is that her future will be by the ocean. 

Want to discover more about student life?

To read more inspiring student stories, watch student interviews or simply stay up to date with what’s happening on campus, visit the @curtinlifeaustralia channel on Instagram.

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