A former jet-setting Sydney travel writer has graduated with a perfect score and a fulfilling new job as a Sunshine Coast paramedic.
Mother-of-two Jane Fraser graduated from the University of the Sunshine Coast with a Bachelor of Paramedic Science and a University Medal for a perfect Grade Point Average of 7, and is thrilled with her new career with the Queensland Ambulance Service.
“I’m loving it. I absolutely love it. It’s everything I hoped it would be,” she said.
“I enjoy the variety of work on the Sunshine Coast; we have forests, beaches, camping grounds, farms and all sorts of different environments, so you get a good range of jobs.”
Mrs Fraser, 42, of Sunshine Beach, said she had been interested in medicine since leaving high school in South Australia, but studied journalism instead, a path that saw her “living out of a suitcase” for 10 years, travelling the world.
“When I left school, paramedics wasn’t a career option that even crossed my radar. I had a good career in journalism but I reached a point where I needed to do something I felt was more rewarding,” she said.
She and her husband Andrew and kids Fergus, 14, and Hugh, 12, moved from Sydney 10 years ago, and she joined Sunshine Beach Surf Life Saving Club as where she became a patrol captain, trainer/assessor and first aid officer.
“That was something that cemented in my mind that this was the sort of environment I wanted to work in,” she said.
“I don’t want to be stuck indoors all day. I really like being out and about in the community and being part of a team.”
Going back to university full-time meant life got busy, as she balanced work as a part-time event medic, the school runs and letting the kids cook once in a while.
“I just used every available minute I had to study,” she said.
“I had lists and lists of what was due and I was always working a long way ahead of deadline to factor in school holidays. I also did a few summer subjects to spread the load.”
She took a particular interest in anatomy and pathophysiology, which is the science of when things go wrong in the body, and worked hard to achieve top marks.
“I think being older helped me. When you go into university as a mature-aged student, you’re often making a lot of sacrifices to be there, and you have a pretty clear idea of what you want to come out with. My goal was to graduate with a GPA of 7 because I knew it was hard to get a job in the field, especially on the Sunshine Coast.”
Mrs Fraser said she’d benefitted greatly from field paramedics tutoring during the course, and offering practical re-life scenarios.
She also relished a trip to the United States as part of final work placements.
“I spent a week each in Las Vegas, Fort Worth and Pittsburgh and it was the best opportunity I could have had in terms of building experience and confidence,” she said.
Applications are now open for mid-year entry to study at USC, with Semester 2 starting July 23. Details on how to apply programs can be found at www.usc.edu.au/learn