Armidale, NSW is a world away from the Northern Territory cattle station where she grew up, but Georgie Chisholm is enjoying the difference – and the new perspectives on the cattle industry that she’s gaining through her studies at the University of New England.
Georgie (pictured here), who comes from the one-and-a-half-million-acre “Naperby” station, 230 km north-west of Alice Springs, started her studies at UNE towards a Bachelor of Agribusiness degree in 2007 after completing her schooling at Ascham girls’ school in Sydney. “Coming to university – and living in a university college – was great after the restrictions of a girls’ boarding school,” she said.
She lived in UNE’s Robb College for three years before moving into town accommodation with two girls who were her fellow students at school and then at Robb College. Now in her Honours year, she is working on a project concerning the application of new technology in the cattle industry. “I’d like to work in cattle production,” she said, “and coming to university has given me a whole new scientific perspective on the industry.”
She said she would advise anyone growing up in a remote area to “broaden their perspectives” by taking up any opportunity to study at university – particularly a smaller, regional university such as UNE. The new perspectives she has gained at UNE have included insight into the meat industry through participation at a national level in the Intercollegiate Meat Judging Competition.
She recalls her early years of schooling – via the radio-based School of the Air – as “great fun”. She and her brother Sam had a governess on the station and, to prepare them for boarding school, their mother would sometimes take them to a school in Alice Springs on shopping days.
Georgie’s educational journey from the schoolroom on “Naperby” station has taken her all the way to the University of New England in Armidale – a journey to a “completely different environment”, she says, but one she wholeheartedly recommends.