- WHAT DO YOU ENJOY MOST ABOUT BEING A RESIDENT DIRECTOR?
- The students! Seeing students embrace this experience and transform personally is truly rewarding. I love their enthusiasm and their quest to make the most of every opportunity. Knowing the impact it will make on their lives is wonderful. We also have amazing staff, which share passions of education, recreation, travel and culture and they are incredibly great to work with!
- WHAT ARE SOME OF THE CHALLENGES OF YOUR JOB?
- Managing crisis situations and incidents. Student safety and security is such a priority. A lot of work can go into assessing risk, creating contingency plans and keeping informed so that should there be any situations which require our involvement, we are ready. Rarely are plans needed, but I always want to stay one step ahead in ensuring students are informed and feel secure. And unfortunately not everyone has the perfect semester, but if there is a problem, I’m usually a part of the solution. Although this can rewarding, it can be challenging.
- WHAT IS THE MOST IMPORTANT THING STUDENTS LEARN ABOUT AUSTRALIA?
- This may not be the most important thing (as that is probably to always swim between the flags), but something very interesting is that displayed on the Australian coat of the arms are, the Kangaroo and Emu, two animals that cannot walk backwards. This is a sign that Australia will always move forwards! I think this says a lot about this unique country and people.
- WHAT IS YOUR ADVICE TO STUDENTS STUDYING IN AUSTRALIA?
- Instead of comparing and contrasting when you come across things that are different, just embrace those differences! Analyze it later should you wish, but just jump into the experience and meet it with enthusiasm and a positive attitude. Like anything, this experience is what you make it. So come with the idea that you are going to try new ways of doing things, learn about new cultures, join new communities and grow as a person! And if you wanted things to be the same, you could have stayed back home, but you stepped out of your comfort zone for a reason, so don’t waste time or negativity when those differences present themselves.
- WHAT IS ONE THING STUDENTS SHOULDN'T FORGET TO PACK FOR AUSTRALIA?
- Sunblock, togs (bathing suit) and sand shoes (sneakers) are pretty essential for exploring our amazing environment. And depending on where you study, it does get cooler here in the winter (your summer), so pack some jumpers (sweatshirts) and such. But you can buy those items here if needed, so instead I would say your sense of adventure!
- WHO IS YOUR FAVORITE AUSTRALIAN BAND?
- For me it's Wolfmother; I love them! Australia has a lot of talented and popular musicians. I also recommend: The Vines, PowerderFinger, Angus and Julia Stone, John Butler Trio, Birds of Tokyo, and The Wombats. There are also the older, classic bands of AC/DC, Cold Chisel and Men at Work ("I come from a land down under" is a bit of an anthem here). Australia has a brilliant live music scene; the music festivals here are amazing!!
- WHAT ARE SOME OF THE AMAZING PLACES YOU'VE VISITED AROUND THE WORLD?
- I love traveling! Some of my favorite places are: Nafplio, Greece, Killarney, Ireland, London, England, Mérida, Mexico; Koh Phangan, Thailand and Buhit Lawang, Indonesia. All for different reasons! It really is amazing to see and experience different places!
- TELL US MORE ABOUT YOUR BACKGROUND.
- I am a small town Canadian girl, who lived for sports and did an honours degree in Kinesiology (minor in Psychology) and then Education. After university, I left Canada and worked as a high school teacher in the U.K. and spent time traveling Europe, Asia and then Australia. I fell in love in Australia and it's been my home ever since. I started with IFSA-Butler in 2007 as a student services coordinator and now work as our resident director. During my time as an SSC, I obtained a diploma of management, became a permanent resident and got to know so many incredible students. I love what I do for a living and where I am doing it! Getting out if my comfort zone and living overseas was one of the best things that I have ever done; I can't recommend it enough!
- WHAT IS A VISITOR "MUST-SEE" IN AUSTRALIA?
- You must see the Great Barrier Reef. There is a reason why it's one of the Seven Wonders of the World. While in Northern Queensland, also check out Cape Tribulation (where the rainforest meets the reef) and sail the Whitsundays (making a stop at one of the world's most photographed beaches, Whitehaven). The national parks in the Northern Territories are truly incredible and the diversity of then going to the outback is like nothing you have experienced.
- WHAT DO YOU DO WHEN YOU'RE NOT BUSY WORKING WITH STUDENTS?
- I love being outdoors, going to local markets, sporting events and music festivals, good conversation with friends over a bottle of Australian wine and further exploring Southeast Queensland on the back of my husband's motorcycle.
- WHAT'S YOUR DREAM VACATION?
- It's so hard to pick one! At the top of my list would have to be seeing Machu Picchu, Peru.
- Visit our Australia resident office website