Bachelor of International Studies (Honours) 2014
I'm an Armidale boy. I went to Sandon Primary, and Duval High School. And then, to the surprise of all my friends who were so eager to get out of town, I decided to go to UNE. I even moved across the road, to live at Earle Page College. It was the best decision of my life, and I would do it all again in a second.
I studied a Bachelor of International Studies, graduating in 2014. I then went on to do Honours, achieving a result of First Class. The best part of my academic life at UNE was the access to my teachers. UNE's staff to student ratio is one of the best in the country. I have a vivid memory of a tute in first year – I was the only one there. My lecturer and I went to get a coffee, and ended up talking for three hours. By the end of my degree I was on first-name terms with almost all the staff in my department, and I am certain it was their support that got me to where I am now.
As for college life, where do I start? A college is so much more than just somewhere to sleep and eat. It is a comprehensive system of support that helps you transition from dependant learning (school) to independent learning (university). That support spans pastoral, academic, social, sporting, cultural and community spheres.I did lots of things at college (too many, my parents always said). One year I was the lead in the college musical, and the next year I produced it. Over four years, I didn't lose a single debate against the other colleges. Ever. I even helped organise the Annual Politics Lecture in 2014, which was presented by The Right Honourable Malcolm Fraser.
But if I was to choose one memory from my time at Earle Page College, it would be running 58km over one weekend as part of the annual Coast Run charity run from Armidale to Coffs Harbour. That year the Coast Run team raised more than $30,000 for the Children's Medical Research Institute. I guess not all college kids are lazy.
At the end of my studies, I won the Journal of Australian Political Economy's 'Young Scholar Award', an award which is supporting me to develop my Honours thesis into a publishable article. From there, I'm looking into a PhD at the University of Sydney. Whatever the future holds, I'm the man I am today thanks to UNE and Earle Page College.
Bachelor of Arts, Master of Letters 1988, 1990
We moved to New England so that my husband could start studying for his Rural Science degree at UNE. Then I realised that this was the perfect opportunity to complete a study program I'd begun years before at Sydney University – especially as I'd heard very good things about UNE's Arts Faculty, and the English Department's leading role in Australian literary studies.
My first two books were published while I was studying at UNE. The adult novel The House in the Rainforest was launched at UNE by the distinguished poet and critic Julian Croft, who was one of the supervisors for my Master of Letters thesis. And my first children's novel, Fire in the Sky, was launched in Armidale later that year – also by one of my UNE teachers.
I found UNE a friendly, approachable place with an excellent quality of education. The courses were interesting, the study conditions flexible, the library fantastic, and the staff really helpful.
As a general background, and in giving me a sense of having done serious study in literature, my UNE studies have certainly helped me in my professional writing career. Publishers have recognised that I have a good grounding in literature, and often like to mention my UNE degrees in their biographical details of me.
My advice to you would be that, when you come to UNE, you should make an effort to get to know the New England region's distinctive and interesting culture as well as working on your studies. This is a unique region that richly nurtures talent.
Graduate Certificate in Accounting, Master of Professional Accounting 2012
I was working with the United Nations peacekeeping mission in East Timor while I studied for my Graduate Certificate in Accounting through UNE.
Studying at a distance requires quite a bit of discipline – especially when you're on a peacekeeping mission in a developing country where the communication infrastructure is unreliable. But the UNE experience was so rewarding that, although still working in East Timor, I enrolled in a Master's degree program.
I've always been interested in diplomatic work, and enjoy the role of providing financial services to peacekeeping missions. It's very rewarding to be part of an operation that brings peace to a country.
When the mission in East Timor had achieved its objectives I returned to my native Kenya. Then, at the beginning of 2013, after a short interlude as a self-employed accountant in Nairobi, I was invited to join the UN mission in Darfur as a consultant.
My graduation ceremony in Armidale was an experience I wouldn't have missed – even though getting there involved seven successive flights (Darfur – Khartoum – Entebbe – Nairobi – Johannesburg – Perth – Sydney – Armidale) over five days of travel. On arriving in Armidale I found everyone very welcoming and helpful.
I'm planning further studies through UNE – probably focusing on management and administration – leading to a doctorate. And I explain to my colleagues that it's possible to achieve your objectives through UNE no matter where in the world you are. UNE supports distance learning very well.
Diploma in Indigenous Archaeology, Bachelor of Arts / Bachelor of Science, Bachelor of Science Honours 2008, 2011, 2012
I chose to study at UNE because of its good reputation for archaeological research – including its part in the discovery of Homo floresiensis ("the Hobbit"), its rural location, and its flexible study options. (I studied as both an external and an internal student.)
The relatively small class sizes at UNE create an intimate experience that allows students to interact effectively, and to fully engage with the subject. Internal students can even get the chance to be involved in some of the lecturers' research projects as volunteers.
For me, being able to talk directly with – and attend lectures by – real researchers who were experts in their respective fields was amazing and inspiring. After completing my studies, I began work as a research assistant for one of the UNE researchers with whom I had done many hours of volunteer work.
If you're looking for a university education, UNE is definitely worth considering. It's a rural university with a friendly atmosphere and excellent courses – including high-quality external courses. Outside the classroom, student-run organisations such as the vibrant radio station, Tune! FM, the re-born newspaper, Nucleus, and a wide variety of clubs and associations contribute to students' involvement in the life of the UNE community. (And there are usually ways for external students to get involved if they wish.)
I would really recommend UNE to anyone who wants a good-quality education in an environment conducive to learning. The education I received there was superb, and the lecturers and tutors were wonderful. They gave me personalised attention when I needed help with my studies, and I believe I wouldn't have made it without their guidance and encouragement.
It was at UNE that I learnt to live independently in a diverse community. I lived in Mary White College – a multicultural community that gave me a great opportunity to learn about a variety of national cultures. I made many friends while I was there, and many of us continue to keep in touch despite now being in different countries.
After graduating at the end of 1992 I returned to Malaysia, where I began work a few months later with Esso (now Exxon Mobil) Production Malaysia Inc. The company had immediately recognised the relevance of my Financial Management qualification from UNE, giving me the opportunity to become an accountant. My Economics degree, on the other hand, laid the foundation for my entire career, which has moved from accountancy to human resources – and my own consulting business.
I have maintained ties to UNE – and gained many new friends – through my association with the UNE Malaysia Alumni Chapter (UNEMA) and the Malaysian Australian Alumni Council (MAAC), serving as President of both organisations. And through MAAC, which is an association of all alumni chapters of Australian universities in Malaysia, I have been able to promote UNE as a leading educational institution.
Bachelor of Economics (Honours) 1984
On completing my UNE degree, I received an offer – which I took up – to work as a Graduate Economist with the Commonwealth Treasury.
I think my education at UNE, with the strong reputation of its economics degree, was the main reason for my receiving that offer. And of course Bernie Fraser, who was then Secretary of the Treasury, is also a UNE graduate.
My experience at the Treasury rounded out my education in economics, and the combination of my UNE degree and the Treasury position has always been recognised as a very solid grounding in the field.
It all started when I moved from Sydney to Armidale to join my girlfriend at the time, who was studying at UNE. There I found a degree program with excellent teachers across a wide range of courses, providing excellent grounding in disciplines such as microeconomics, development economics and public finance. And the strong focus on economic history and the history of economic thought in my program required a level of sophistication in concise analytical writing that has been an advantage ever since.
At UNE I was motivated to work hard to make the most of my time as an undergraduate, and I think you will be too. So put the effort in – and keep exploring new ideas.
Bachelor of Arts (Honours) 2012
I chose to study at UNE because it offered not only the course I wanted – an Honours degree in philosophy –but an interesting range of philosophy units. It lived up to all my expectations: my UNE lecturers and Honours supervisor are gifted teachers, highly engaged mentors, and outstanding philosophers in their own right
I completed my UNE studies externally while working full-time, as I live in Sydney and have young children to support.
When I was ready to begin my Honours year I enrolled at a Sydney university because I thought I would benefit from some on-campus study. I ended up returning to UNE to complete the year, however, as the teaching at UNE was vastly superior. Not only did my UNE lecturers and supervisor have greater expertise in the field of philosophy I wanted to pursue, but they were much more supportive in helping me achieve my study objectives.
Having previously completed a university degree on campus, I can say that the education UNE delivers to its external students is highly effective, and that it feels both attentive and personal. If you're thinking of studying at UNE through distance education, don't hesitate to engage with your lecturers – by phone, e-mail, or even in person. The more they know about you and what you're trying to achieve, the more they'll be able to guide and encourage you.
I've found that my UNE education helps me in every situation where I need to develop and present a convincing argument – from making a job application to performing a wide range of work-related tasks.
I started my career working on farms in the UK before emigrating to Australia in the mid-1980s. After spending five years working with my father in the family horticultural business, and almost six years running my own successful farm merchandise retail business in Western Australia, I found myself climbing the corporate ladder.
After a number of relatively rapid promotions, I came to realise that the majority of my peers were significantly more academically qualified than I, and that further career progression could be more challenging.
I enrolled in UNE's MBA program after considerable research into the various courses available and the institutions offering them. I was looking for one that offered 100 per cent external study, well-developed online resources, and a recognised reputation.
External study was absolutely necessary for me as I had a demanding managerial job in agribusiness and travelled extensively. The ability to fit in reading and assignments around meetings, plane flights, dinners and conferences without using up all of my precious home time was a real bonus, and the online facilities at UNE made the task relatively painless.
I found that I could instantly relate – and apply – my learning in my day-to-day business role. I still refer to the manuals, several years after completing the course. I would definitely recommend the MBA course at UNE – and have done so on many occasions.
Master of Laws 2009
I was working full-time in a corporate law firm and was looking for a flexible study option. I had colleagues who were impressed by UNE's online degree programs, so I looked into the Master of Laws program at UNE. It turned out to be an ideal complement to my work and professional development.
I received a great education at UNE. The courses were practical, and allowed me to reflect on what I'd learnt during the program and how that could change the way I worked.
I've found that a Master's degree sets early-career lawyers apart from their peers. In such a competitive environment, additional qualifications and experiences can count for a lot, and I'm sure my UNE degree helped me realise a number of career opportunities.
In 2012 I was honoured to receive a UNE Alumni Achievement Award, which recognised my work providing legal services and access to justice for poor and marginalised people. The community of UNE alumni is a welcoming, inclusive network of people – another great feature of being a UNE alumnus.
Bachelor of Science 2013
The Royal Government of Bhutan sponsored my university study, and I feel lucky that it was at UNE – a university that has the best and friendliest study environment you could ever be in.
I lived in Wright Village for the first two semesters of my degree program. Attending the Wright Village Ball was the highlight; it was the first ball I had ever been to, and it felt particularly special because it was part of my experience of college life.
UNE has helped me to dream big. I came here with the sole thought of getting a Bachelor's degree, but UNE has helped me take the further step of planning for postgraduate studies.
When you come to Armidale you'll find a beautiful university campus and a warm and welcoming town community. And don't forget to be part of UNE's New England Award program, as this will provide you with the opportunity to learn something outside your books. So do get out there and get involved!
Master of Letters 1993
I studied at UNE because it offered a unique course in Peace Studies – which was just what I wanted.
Studying by distance education, I found that the coursework was well developed and thoughtful, and delivered by dedicated educators who were committed to the content and intention of the Peace Studies program.
Having worked with community-based organisations over the years, I have found my degree useful in demonstrating to employers and peers that I have a commitment to learning, have a foundational knowledge of peacemaking, ethics, aid and development, and am open to new ideas. And the collegial approach to generating new ideas and supporting peers – and the general discipline – developed during a postgraduate degree program have contributed to my career success.
At UNE you'll build friendships and connection with peers and mentors, and I'd urge you to keep in touch with them in the years to follow. I keep in touch through the regular bulletins of the South Australian Chapter of the UNE Alumni Association, and was a speaker at one of their annual dinners.
Bachelor of Arts (Honours) 2009
Having grown up in Armidale, with parents and grandparents who had studied and worked at UNE, I had a strong personal connection to the University already. And the good reputation of UNE's Bachelor of Arts degree, and the flexibility and supportive learning environment that UNE offered, were also appealing.
The quality of education I received at UNE was outstanding. The lecturers were knowledgeable, passionate, and committed to their students.
My time at UNE developed important core skills that all employers look for, such as the ability to communicate effectively and to collaborate as a team player. I was also confident that I had a thorough understanding of the subjects I majored in: English, theatre and communications.
While I was still completing my Honours year I was offered a fantastic job with the Australian Government in what was then the Department of Environment, Water, Heritage and the Arts. I found that a number of the units I had studied at UNE were directly relevant to my day-to-day work, and my experience in working on UNE drama productions prepared me for managing professional productions.
I lived in UNE's Duval College in 2007, and one highlight of that experience was the personal development program the College offered. There's tremendous value in studying at a regional university like UNE in terms of the richness of on-campus experience and the level of support you'll receive from the lecturers and the other students.
Bachelor of Arts 1981
As a student of theatre studies at UNE I found the teaching to be of the highest quality. This excellent teaching is one of the reasons why a qualification in theatre studies from UNE is so highly regarded.
Also, as most UNE students live away from home, they have more opportunity to participate in the creation and performance of theatre. UNE graduates in theatre studies have vastly more practical experience than their city counterparts.
Initially, it was the availability of on-campus accommodation that drew me to UNE. I lived in Drummond College in my first year, UNE's Claude Street Flats (now Wright Village) in second year, and a shared house with three other drama students in third year. Highlights included romance, food, learning to fend for myself, and developing excellent and enduring friendships.
I have since gained Master's degrees from the University of NSW and Harvard, and the academic – and life – education I received at UNE stood me in good stead.
As a professional comedian, performing throughout Australia and abroad, I've had to create my own work. Maybe the self-reliance gained in living away from home as a student gave me the best competitive advantage.
If you're thinking of studying at UNE, my advice would be: Do it!
Bachelor of Natural Resources 1981
I chose UNE because of its Bachelor of Natural Resources degree program. I've always been passionate about the environment, and the UNE program offered a balanced perspective on environmental issues and how they might be addressed. Professor John Burton, who was Head of School when I was there, had a national reputation as a pragmatic activist and scholar – which also appealed to me.
UNE's Natural Resources program has a strong applied component that taught me skills that were immediately useful in the workplace. In my last year at UNE I learnt how to trap animals, write a management plan, and produce an environmental impact assessment. These skills helped me get a job and then undertake it with some ability.
On completing my UNE studies in 1981 I undertook a short-term contract with CSIRO using Landsat imagery to map parts of the Great Barrier Reef. The skills I developed during that short period have proved useful to this day. With that experience in mind, I'd advise you to take any opportunities on offer; you never know what they might lead to.
I moved to Western Australia in 1982 to take up work with the WA Government in nature reserve management. It was my Bachelor of Natural Resources degree that led to the success of my interview for that first job.
After studying for a PhD degree at the University of Washington in Seattle, USA, I returned to Western Australia to take up a position at Murdoch University, where I now lead the Nature Based Tourism Research Group.
Bachelor of Laws 2008
The opportunity to study law at UNE enabled me to fulfil a life-long goal, for which I will always be grateful.
The flexible mode of study allowed me to work part-time, study, and care for my two young children over a period of eight years. The support throughout the course was excellent – both online and over the phone.
Each of the 24 subjects opened up new areas of interest for me – in particular Indigenous Law and Constitutional Law.
Before graduating I was offered a number of employment opportunities – both in Melbourne and in regional Victoria. I ended up working with a solicitor in Bendigo for three years before embarking on my own practice in regional Victoria.
I moved into law from an initial career in nursing, and have found that the inter-personal skills I developed as a nurse assist me in my legal work – particularly in the area of family law.
Attending my UNE graduation ceremony was a truly special experience, and I would encourage anyone who has studied externally to make the trip.
Bachelor of Laws with Honours 2002
As an external law student, I found UNE's teaching materials brilliant and the lecturers in Law very supportive. They were always available to answer questions, and to provide feedback and mentoring – especially when we met in person at the residential schools.
Those residential schools fostered friendships and networks with other external students from around the country. It was a fascinating melting pot of professionals from all kinds of backgrounds seeking to upgrade their qualifications with a second degree.
The quality of teaching enabled me to achieve high marks – and finally a University Medal. These results meant that I was spoiled for choice when it came to employment. I was offered Summer Clerkships with more than five top-tier firms in Sydney, and then graduate positions.
My UNE qualification has always been highly regarded, enabling me to find employment in several different areas of law. I have worked at the highest level in corporate law, and subsequently as a criminal lawyer for Legal Aid NSW.
If you're considering university studies, I would certainly recommend UNE – particularly if you need the flexibility of distance education.
Bachelor of Laws 2013
At the time of my enrolment in 2007, UNE was the only university in Australia to offer what I needed: a stand-alone postgraduate Bachelor of Laws degree program that could be delivered totally online.
And I found that the quality of the education at UNE was superb. All the lecturers were very knowledgeable in their respective fields, and were more than willing to be accessible – and extremely helpful – whenever answers were needed.
The lectures were all podcast through a system that was easy to use, and the lecture notes were extremely valuable while still requiring students to do their own reading.
In that regard, UNE's Law Library resources were absolutely invaluable – well organised, and accessible at the oddest hours. The staff there went completely out of their way to help students find what they were looking for; nothing ever seemed too much trouble for them.
I was in full-time employment throughout the six years of the part-time, external degree program. My employer recognised the value of my law studies while they were in progress, and the degree certainly assisted in consolidating my position within the company.
When you're planning your studies at UNE, I'd advise you to select the course you really want to do, because you're more likely to do well if you enjoy it.
Bachelor of Arts (Honours) 2007
At school I had a brilliant, passionate and inspirational Ancient History teacher who was a UNE graduate, so I knew that the subject I wanted to study was good at UNE. There were other universities that taught Ancient History, but I didn't want to go to a big city university. So UNE seemed the obvious choice for the quality of the program and the ideal country location.
And my parents are both UNE alumni.
I have nothing but good things to say about the quality of the education I received. My lecturers were passionate and interested in what they were teaching, the coursework was fascinating, and I loved what I was studying. The small class sizes and the approachability and engagement of the lecturers made the experience a really rewarding one, as I felt that I was viewed as an individual whose experiences and success really mattered.
I lived in Earle Page College, where the highlight was definitely the active and enthusiastic cultural life. Some of my best times at university were spent in choir practice, musical rehearsals and other cultural pursuits, and there were always plenty of like-minded people to enjoy such things with.
On completing my study I received a number of interview offers, and wound up getting the second job I applied for. My UNE education gave me communication, problem-solving and analytical skills that were directly transferable to the context of employment.
Bachelor of Arts, Diploma of Education 1977, 1984
I lived in Duval College for my first two years at UNE, and I realise now that my on-campus experience at this rural university provided a great transition from living at home to an independent adult life.
In my third year I moved into rented accommodation in town, and I have fond memories of the broader Armidale community and the facilities of the city. Overall, I recall the total Armidale package as a high-quality learning experience.
At UNE, my learning was guided by the combination of lectures and small-group tutorials, and the Dixson Library provided me with a source of employment (as a student assistant) as well as a study and research facility.
My experience in the Dixson Library gave me insights into the world of libraries that probably set me on the path of my career in academic librarianship. My undergraduate degree was recognised by my first employer, and secured me an appointment as a graduate librarian.
Urban and Regional Planning 2002
I actually transferred to UNE after a semester at a city university where I found neither the course nor the impersonality of the large campus to my liking. It was one of the best decisions I've ever made.
I lived in Austin College for three years, and was College President in the third year. I really loved college life, and my most important memories of UNE are of college friendships. The friends I made there – through the degree course or through outside activities – are still some of my best friends today.
University is a time to broaden your life experience, and UNE offers the chance to do this in a great environment. I would definitely recommend campus living and getting involved in as many activities as you can. I was President of the UNE Union in 2001, and the skills I developed through student politics – including the ability to negotiate – are among the most important that I gained at university.
My first job after graduating was as a town planner for Launceston City Council in Tasmania. After that I spent two years working for various local authorities in the UK before returning to planning work in Australia.
In 2007 I undertook a two-year volunteer assignment working as a town planner in Papua New Guinea's East New Britain Province. After a volcanic eruption had all but destroyed the old provincial capital of Rabaul, it had been decided to move the capital to nearby Kokopo. My work there gave me a chance to help regulate the development of one of the most ambitious town planning projects ever undertaken in the South Pacific. It was a tremendously satisfying experience.
Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Laws 1998
If you're looking for both a genuine on-campus experience and targeted academic support, then UNE is a must.
Having lived for two years in UNE's Earle Page College, I formed many college friendships – as well as friendships with classmates – that continue to this day. But I've yet to meet anyone who's said they've regretted spending time at UNE.
My UNE education was of a high quality – both in Arts and Law. The class sizes were manageable, and access to the lecturers was routine and easy. I never felt like "just another number".
UNE provided an environment that allowed me to identify career objectives at my own pace, and facilitated relationships and conversations with mentors that led to post-graduate study overseas and then a legal career.
The UNE experience is unique; don't ever apologise for having studied at UNE. And when you graduate, you should celebrate your UNE experience and use it as a positive differentiator when competing for jobs.
The well-rounded experience of life at UNE continues to give me important perspectives on life, business, and relationships.
Bachelor of Arts 1988
I found UNE to be a supportive community of scholars and students that provides a high level of tertiary education. And the University has the added advantage of being located in a beautiful regional area of NSW.
UNE also offers many social and sporting opportunities. I lived in Robb College for a time, and really enjoyed being part of the college community – particularly when it came to Robb's dramatic productions.
My Arts degree studies increased my confidence levels, and gave me discipline and critical thinking skills. I've found that employers generally recognise the value of a university degree in developing such attributes, and I certainly had no trouble finding employment – in the field of marketing – after my graduation.
After a decade-long career in marketing that included employment in Singapore as well as in Australia, I returned to my family's wheat/cattle property in north-western NSW as its business manager.
In addition to my work on the property, I am a writer – and the author of novels, poetry, short stories, and travel and genealogy articles that have been published in Australia, New Zealand, Singapore, Canada and the United States. My first novel, The Bark Cutters, was short-listed for an Australian Book Industry Award in 2011. Absolution Creek was selected for the 2012 "Top 50 Books You Can't Put Down" list as part of the Get Reading! campaign, and Sunset Ridge was chosen for the 2013 list.
Time management and organisational skills that I developed at UNE have certainly assisted me in managing my dual role of grazier and author. And my UNE experience also encouraged me to undertake postgraduate studies.
Bachelor of Economics, Bachelor of Economics with Honours 1983 1984
My experience of college life at UNE was of a close-knit community that fostered great friendships in a vibrant and creative social environment.
I've noticed that whenever I meet someone who turns out to be a graduate of UNE the first question we ask each other is not "What did you study?" but "What college were you at?" I was at Earle Page.
We recently had an informal 30-year reunion of Earle Page contemporaries in Sydney – and it was wonderful. The fondness we developed for each other at college – and the mutual support structure – still survives.
It was only in my second year at UNE that I realised I had to balance the fun of college life with a commitment to achieving academic goals (but I'd advise potential students to get that balance right from the start). At that stage I didn't have a career goal, but the discipline and application involved in my commitment to study – as well as the learning that followed – have led to a very diverse and enjoyable career. And I use the fundamental knowledge I gained at UNE to this day.
It's just amazing what you can do with an Economics or Agricultural Economics degree. Before leaving UNE I was offered a graduate position with the Reserve Bank of Australia – and that was the making of me. It was there that I developed the love of policy that has continued throughout my career. I held the positions of Policy Director for the Wool Council of Australia, and then General Manager Policy for Australian Pork Ltd, before becoming Chief Executive Officer of Animal Health Australia.
If you're considering study at UNE I think you'll love the experience. UNE has so much to offer – but remember, it's what you make of it as a person that counts.
Bachelor of Arts (Honours) 1980
From my experience, I would say that UNE will give you a life-changing experience if you engage in all it has to offer.
I lived in Earle Page College for the first and final years of my time at UNE, and a shared house for the other three years. The highlight of my experience in the residential college was the strength of the friendships I formed – friendships that have stood the test of time. And I believe that my UNE experience – the lessons in independent living, and the engagement with the whole life of the University – has made me, in large part, what I am today.
Although I decided not to continue with the course I initially chose, I enjoyed the camaraderie at the University so much that I found another UNE course that interested me – one that secured my future.
The education I received at UNE was the equal of that at any other university in Australia. After graduating, I was offered a job by a company that saw my degree as proving that I could apply myself to a task with diligence over an extended period, and the subject of my Honours thesis exposed me to the industry I have worked in ever since.
If you're considering tertiary education, you couldn't do better than a country university if it has the course you want to study. And if that course is available at UNE, go there!
Master of Laws 2011
I embarked on my Master's degree program at UNE when I found that the University was receptive to my research proposal. Professor Paul Martin, Director of the UNE-based Australian Centre for Agriculture and Law, worked patiently with me to develop the proposal into a viable research project.
Although I was an external student, I had ready access to my professors and other resources – such as the Library – via e-mail and telephone.
My thesis concerned genetic technology and how the common law could better confront the ownership and control of DNA. I have been able to use my research results in contributing to the public debate on these issues and in campaigns for law reform. For example, I provided a submission to the Senate Legal and Constitutional Affairs Committee's inquiry concerning the Patent Amendment (Human Genes and Biological Materials) Bill 2010. While the Bill was not enacted, the inquiry provided me with the opportunity to air many concerns raised in my thesis as matters of public policy.
Graduation day was a highlight of my UNE experience, and I would urge you to attend your UNE graduation if at all possible. I was particularly impressed with the support I received upon arriving for the graduation ceremony in my wheelchair. I was assigned an assistant who pushed me around the campus at various stages in the proceedings – greatly relieving my mother of what would have been a physically exhausting task. That evening we joined Professor Martin and several other graduates and PhD students in a celebratory dinner at a restaurant just outside town, capping off a thoroughly memorable day.
Master of Organisational Development and Strategic Human Resource Management 2012
I had been working in Sydney for over a decade as an Organisational Development Consultant for Oracle, and was looking for a Master's degree program to support my future career development. Work commitments, however, made it impossible for me to undertake a degree program that required me to attend lectures, so UNE's online program seemed to be just what I wanted.
And I wasn't disappointed. The online teaching and learning environment that UNE provided worked well for me, as it gave me the personal flexibility I needed within a well-structured and well-taught degree program.
My advice to anyone embarking on such a program would be to take advantage of all opportunities for communicating with lecturers and fellow students. I found, for example, that sharing my ignorance by posting questions on bulletin boards resulted in a positive experience of shared learning.
I also benefited from the weekend intensive schools. These are the one opportunity to meet fellow students and lecturers face-to-face, and are a great forum for networking.
This rewarding educational experience prompted me to enrol in another degree program – Master of Business Administration – through UNE, and I completed my studies in 2013 with similar satisfaction.
For my career, the MBA program delivered by UNE was the perfect launching pad for progress to executive leadership.
When I entered the program, I was working as Business Development Manager of a not-for-profit organisation: the Teachers Health Fund. The concept of a not-for-profit business model had always appealed to me, and the UNE degree program offered units of study that were relevant to the not-for-profit sector. I learnt much that I find useful to this day.
With the help of the MBA I moved into an executive managerial role at the Teachers Health Fund, before taking up a similar position with the Royal Flying Doctor Service (RFDS). The RFDS, with its use of aviation to bridge the gap in health service delivery that affects people living in rural and remote areas, is a fascinating organisation to work for.
I was initially drawn to UNE because I knew it was the architect of distance education at postgraduate level. So what better place to choose? As it turned out, the course delivery, the teaching methodology, and the ability to connect with tutors and fellow students were all fantastic.
Living in Sydney, I found the weekend intensive schools that UNE held at a city hotel invaluable for face-to-face contact. And I recall an occasion when I happened to be in Armidale on business and was able to have a discussion with one of my lecturers on campus.My advice to anyone undertaking an MBA program through UNE would be to engage in the online space. Whenever you have a question, throw it out there; your peers as well as your tutors will be only too happy to respond.
Bachelor of Arts (Honours), Master of Environmental Systems, Markets and Climate Change 1985, 2012
As an undergraduate I wanted to study politics and prehistoric archaeology, and UNE's courses in both those subjects had a very good reputation. And the fact that an older sister and several cousins had attended UNE before me was another factor in my choice of this University.
Twenty-five years later, when I wanted to undertake a Master's degree program, I was seeking a course that had the right combination of environmental science, law, policy and economics . . . and there it was at UNE! I also needed to do the course externally, and I knew that UNE had a long and successful history in distance education.
The teaching in both my BA (Honours) and Master's programs was of a very high standard – with lecturers who were leaders in their fields, and who made themselves readily available to help and answer questions. I felt very much like a "person" – not a number – at UNE. My Master's course also felt personalised – despite being delivered externally – thanks to the commitment of the teachers.
I lived in Austin College throughout my BA (Honours) degree program, and was a Residential Tutor for two years. The highlight was the friendships made – many of which are still going strong even after 30 years. And being a Residential Tutor gave me opportunities for leadership experience.
When I was finishing my Honours year I accepted a place in Unilever's Graduate Program, which led to a career in marketing. After a break to travel and start a family, I moved into carbon/climate change strategy and compliance, and found that my Master's degree helped me make this transition and secure managerial roles with Westfield and then with the Worldwide Fund for Nature.
In my personal and professional life I have often encountered fellow UNE alumni, and our shared UNE experience has been a great point of connection. The "UNE experience" is unique among Australian universities – particularly for on-campus students – and I feel privileged to have shared in it.
Bachelor of Economics (Honours) 2013
I chose to study at UNE because of the UNE Business School's strong reputation in economics. And having been raised in New England, I also valued the beautiful campus surroundings and my family support network.
I found it to be a high-quality educational experience, with lecturers and tutors who were always willing to assist their students. This was particularly valuable during my Honours year, when my supervisors were always available to offer research advice.
If you're thinking of studying at UNE, don't forget that the University has a range of services to help you make the right degree choice and achieve your academic goals.
The complete UNE experience – including my participation in the UNE-NSW Parliamentary Internship Program and the community-based projects of Enactus UNE – greatly supported my successful application for a Research Economist position in the Australian Public Service. There is keen competition for graduate positions in the Public Service, and gaining one has always been considered an achievement.
I'm now an alumni member of Enactus UNE's Business Advisory Board – allowing me to support the current student members and network with business leaders.
Bachelor of Economics (Honours) 1984
I met my husband – and began my career with the Reserve Bank of Australia – while still a student at UNE.
Although I lived at home in Armidale for my first two undergraduate years, I became affiliated with St Albert's College because I wanted a broader experience of student life. Then in my third year I decided to extend that experience to living in college. I became a Floor Tutor at St Albert's – and loved it. The college life was very social.
I played a lot of sport – hockey, mainly, but a bit of everything else as well. The facilities at SportUNE were fabulous.
On the academic side I found the lecturers all very accessible, and the small class sizes in the more advanced years meant that we got quite targeted attention. If my own children expressed an interest in UNE I'd certainly encourage them to go there.
A cadetship with the Reserve Bank helped me complete my Honours year, move straight into a job as an economic analyst, and then progress to senior positions within the Bank. The Reserve Bank has employed many UNE graduates over the years.
We've maintained the strong friendships we made at St Albert's College. For example, we are godparents to the children of college friends, while they are godparents to ours. You make lifelong friends at UNE.