Alumni in profile

Image of Kerre Willsher

Kerre Willsher
Bachelor of Arts 1988 and
Master of Health Science (Nursing) 2008

I am currently
A lecturer in nursing at the Whyalla Campus of the University of South Australia and a PhD student studying the needs of parents in rural areas who have a child with a disability.

I chose to study at Deakin because
It came highly recommended to me by a teaching mentor.   It also had a good reputation and was a pioneer in offering off-campus studies, which was important to me at the time because I was living in a remote Aboriginal settlement.

At uni I was inspired by…
The dedication and passion of the academics. On quite a few occasions, lecturers contacted me promptly and walked me through difficult areas to help keep me on the academic pathway. The office staff and academics were wonderful to me over the journey and I hope I am as good to my own students as my lecturers were to me!

After leaving uni
I worked as a maternal and child health nurse in Victoria.  I then worked as a nurse educator in Papua New Guinea.  On my return to Australia, I worked as a maternal and child health nurse in Gippsland Victoria and later in Broken Hill in New South Wales.

My courses helped my career…
As they provided me with some fundamental building blocks to forge a career in nursing and undertake my PhD.  The leadership and ethics components of my Masters degree in particular helped me develop the scope and focus for my PhD.  Having been a university student, the experience has also given me a better understanding as a lecturer of the needs of my students too.

Today, I am motivated by…
Other motivated and enthusiastic colleagues and students.

In my profession it is important to…
Mentor current students and particularly those from the nursing field to help progress their career prospects.

Professionally, my proudest achievements are…
Being accepted into the University of South Australia’s PhD program. In 2007 I won a University of South Australia teaching award and in 2009 I was part of a team that won a University of South Australia Chancellor’s Award.

I feel a strong connection with…
Children who have learning difficulties.  Seeing the reaction of a child I have worked with, when they achieve something significant is joyful.

In the future…
I would like to continue to teach at the Whyalla Campus of UniSA and work in the area of childhood disability.

The single-most important thing in the world to me is…
Family and friends. At this stage finishing the PhD is a close second and my friends and family are giving me invaluable support with this.

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Deakin University acknowledges the traditional land owners of present campus sites.

26th July 2012