So, that is three generations of my family, we have degrees in Medicine, Nursing, Science, Criminology and Cultural Tourism”
In 2003 the Flinders University magazine Encounter ran an article about the institution’s Foundation Course, that had at the time run for twenty years. The article showed a photo of myself, my dad and my daughter and spoke about the three generations of our family at Flinders University. At the time, I had completed the Foundation Course and a couple of years later entered the Bachelor of Nursing, graduating in 1999. Whilst I was doing that, my dad who was then 60 years old, was spurred by my talk of University and also completed the Foundation Course. He went on to gain a Bachelor of Cultural Tourism in its first year. Whilst he was still studying my daughter Kristy completed a Bachelor of Science.
In the twelve years since that article my dad started and successfully ran a cultural tourism business which was particularly suited for, but not restricted to, people with disabilities. He saw a gap in the tourism market and converted his first bus himself, removing seats and putting in a hydrophilic lift to get wheel chairs into the bus without lifting. As he got older he slowly wound the business up and even though he is meant to be retired, he still does the odd run to the wineries for old clients.
My daughter Kristy completed her Science Degree and whilst doing so met the man she was to marry. Dan was a tutor earning some money to get through Medical School, he later graduated and is now a GP, to mention but one of his qualifications. Kristy entered into a training program to become a Cardiac Sonographer after completed her Science Degree.
After completing my degree I worked at Flinders Medical Centre for my graduate year, then Calvary in theatres before moving to the Repatriation General Hospital. Whilst there I took the four day nurses research course run by Emeritus Professor Jan Paterson. I had been keeping statistics on our patients and this research course looked like a way for me to do something with that information. Shortly after I started the Honours course conducting research on prostate cancer screening and completed with a First Class Honours. I won an APA (Australian Postgraduate Award) and a position as a PhD candidate. I was the first nurse from the Repat to complete the 4-day research course, go on to do Honours and then a PhD. Three years ago I married, my husband, a police officer, who was so interested in my honours research and PhD that he decided to also undertake his Honours. Last year he earned a First Class Honours in Criminology and hopes to go on to do a PhD.
I am in my last year of my PhD, have been teaching at the School of Nursing & Midwifery for the past three years. I was fortunate enough to run the last four day nurses research course at the Repat with Emeritus Professor Jan Paterson just before her retirement, where my interest and love of research all began.
So that is three generations of my family and between us we have degrees in Medicine, Nursing, Science, Criminology and Cultural Tourism. We now have seven grandchildren who may very well follow in our footsteps and take another generation of ‘us’ to Flinders. Watch out!
(I still have the copy of the 2003 Flinders University Magazine for Alumni and Friends, Encounter, we look a lot younger).