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‘I left school and home at 15 and worked full-time for 16 years in offices. I then decided that working in an office until retirement age wasn’t going to be enough. So I started studying part-time at TAFE and completed a three-year diploma course before continuing my studies at Deakin completing an undergraduate degree in chemical science. I was then accepted for an honours project at Deakin, and after achieving first class honours, applied for a PhD candidature.
I’m currently undertaking a PhD project in natural product chemistry, which involves the search for new bioactive compounds produced by microorganisms. Ultimately, the main aim of this project is to discover new natural products for use in the fight against infectious diseases.
I’m finding that the skills I acquired during undergraduate studies and honed during the honours year are very applicable to my current research. Two that I consider most important are critical analysis of published research, and scientific writing.
Deakin’s academic and post-doctoral staff are great to work with, and you are made to feel part of the academic community. Academic staff are open to new research directions and ideas, and encourage an attitude of thinking “outside the square”. One of the things that has really impressed me about PG studies at Deakin is the multidisciplinary approach to research, which is fast becoming a trend internationally.’