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PTS Student Stories Chantae Jackson

Chantae Jackson, Cert III Sport & Rec, Cert III Fitness, PTS, B Nursing

PTS_Chantae-Jackson1My name is Chantae and I’m from Cairns. I’ve just completed a Bachelor of Nursing and I am now doing my graduate program at St Vincent’s Hospital in Melbourne. During my graduate year I will be doing rotations in the day procedures unit, as well as the stroke and renal ward. Getting to this point in my career has been a journey that I am happy to share, and I hope that it will inspire others to follow their dreams.

With my schooling, I did to Grade 10 at Woree High in Cairns then went to Calen College in Mackay for about a year. At Calen I was the only Indigenous person in the school so it was hard. I finished Year 12 at Woree. I started at TAFE the first year after I left school but I didn’t finish it as I had a lot going on and I wasn’t really concentrating on my work. In 2013 I went back to TAFE and I completed both the Certificate III in Sport Recreation and the Certificate III in Fitness.

The next part of my learning journey was the Preparation for Tertiary Success (PTS) course which I did in Alice Springs in 2014. PTS was amazing and I found it interesting to learn about myself with the Effective Lifelong Learning Inventory (ELLI). I had never done anything like that before and it really made a big difference.

Another great thing was using ‘both-ways’ in the PTS classes. At home I knew that my grandparents made their own lotions to rub on the boys when they played touch or other sports. My grandmother was always telling us about the old ways and she still uses it. She was surprised by me asking her about her knowledge for an assignment. She was really happy about that and she was like “is that all you need, is that enough information?” I enjoyed researching for my assignments and learning that people in different states have different techniques and different medicines that they use. I liked learning about the Ngangkari healers as well as the western knowledge and bringing all those knowledges together.

After PTS I moved to Melbourne to study at the Australian Catholic University (ACU). I started in the Bachelor of Sport and Exercise Science which I did for about a year. I realized it wasn’t for me so I transferred into Nursing. I had so much help from the Indigenous unit at the uni with living in Melbourne, and applying for scholarships and a cadetship. At first, I didn’t like the sound of a cadetship. It sounded like it might be the army or something, until the staff explained it to me properly. But the cadetship was great for placements, and for getting me first-hand experience of personal care for patients.

I’m always quiet and shy when I first start at anything. I need to get to know people before I’ll speak up or let anyone look at my work. PTS really helped me develop this confidence to talk up in class and in groups. During the placements I try to have a good conversation; talking to patients has opened me up a lot more. I was also selected to be a uni student ambassador. In this work I help with orientation activities, as well as going out to schools. I talk about my education journey because hopefully I’m inspiring some people out there to come to uni. The student ambassador work allowed me to extend my involvement in the local community. As I was new to Melbourne it really helped me to get involved with the community here, to meet new people and make friends.

I’m so glad I went to uni and got my qualifications. I’ve achieved my goal to have a better future for myself and to lead by example. I hope my story might be the motivation and inspiration for others to follow my lead.

Interview with Catherine Maughan, former PTS Course Coordinator.