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Deakin University architecture and construction management student Elizabeth Walker was one of the winners at the 2011 National Association of Women in Construction (NAWIC) Victoria and Tasmania Awards of Excellence, receiving the Building Commission Award for Outstanding Achievement by a Student.
Elizabeth - who as well as her studies is also working as a cadet quantity surveyor with Aquenta Consulting - describes receiving the award as an honour.
‘I felt truly honoured to receive recognition for my hard work within the construction industry, particularly from an amazing organisation like NAWIC,’ Elizabeth says. ‘The NAWIC award night was truly inspiring, with many influential people present and I felt proud to represent Deakin in front of many of Melbourne's top construction companies.’
While Elizabeth was most enthusiastic about design initially, she says once she started studying her combined course that changed.
‘After finishing high school, I had a passion for design, so I was interested in studying architecture. I was attracted towards the combined architecture and construction management course at Deakin because I didn't just want to learn how to design buildings - I wanted to learn as much as possible about the organisations, management, structural and economic considerations of the construction industry.
‘Interestingly, although I was initially most enthusiastic about design, I soon found that I was most passionate about the construction management side of my degree. Due to the diversity of my combined course, I was able to find out what I was interested in.’
Working while she is studying is giving Elizabeth the chance to put what she is learning into practice.
‘I have been working as a quantity surveying cadet for Aquenta Consulting for a year now,’ Elizabeth explains. ‘I find that my experience in the industry helps me in my studies, whilst my studies help me in my workplace. It is great to balance theoretical learning with practical industry experience.’