Achievement after adversity

Published 28 September 2018

"I was a very timid kid because of the mistreatment I experienced growing up. I thought having an aggressive alcoholic parent was completely normal. But I had this teacher in Year 1 that I adored. She always took interest in my home life and one day picked up that something wasn’t quite right. I really trusted her and opened up, and she got me the support I needed. I still talk to her to this very day. I want to be just like her.

Growing up in foster homes, I had no stability. I always questioned myself and never thought I had the ability to achieve. Enrolling in university was a big thing; I was looking for stability and independence.

During my first year in residential college I made some amazing friends and it became home, a constant. I'd never had that before.

The next three years were a roller-coaster with family issues. I can't explain how hard it was. I struggled to keep up with my uni assignments and felt so low; I thought I would have to drop out. But my lecturers were amazing; they were so supportive and caring. They never gave up on me.

My studies have set me up for life. I now have so much to look forward to. I have casual work lined up for next year and I'm hoping to travel and spend a year in London.

I'm living proof that even if you come from a tough background it's still possible to achieve academically, if you have support. The kind of support I received at UNE."

UNE was awarded five stars for “Overall Student Experience” by the Good Universities Guide 2019 for the 13th year in a row.

Kandis Hoffman
Bachelor of Education (Primary), UNE