International students Hannah Shipley and Rachael Crawford-McConville study oral health therapy at CQUniversity
International students Hannah Shipley and Rachael Crawford-McConville study oral health therapy at CQUniversity Jann Houley

UK ladies drawn to CQUni

ON HER orientation day at CQUniversity's North Rockhampton campus,Hannah Shipley became even more excited when she saw kangaroos lolling on the uni lawns.

"But everyone else didn't see what the fuss was," the oral health student said yesterday.

Rockhampton sure is a long way from "the middle of nowhere, outside Shropshire, near the English border with Wales," but Ms Shipley couldn't be more enthusiastic about her new home.

She was backpacking through Australia three years ago, working on a farm outside Brisbane, when she met her Australian boyfriend.

"I'd spent my early 20s travelling and decided I needed to do something more structured towards a career," she said.

"I was working for a dentist in Brisbane whose wife was a dental therapist; I looked up to her and what she was doing."

Ms Shipley heard CQUniversity was the best place to go for oral health studies and her boyfriend, who is doing a STEPS course, also heard good reports about its engineering course.

He sourced a share house on The Range and they moved their possessions in while Ms Shipley took a few months off to visit her family back in the United Kingdom.

In terms of settling in to Rockhampton life, she got a valuable tip from fellow student, Rachael Crawford-McConville.

"Have a barbeque, invite everybody you know and get them to invite everyone they know," she said.

"It's the Aussie way of making new friends."

Ms Crawford-McConville's family moved from Scotland to Gladstone while she was in high school.

She spent a year working at a dental practice there and wasn't prepared to move all the way interstate to gain her qualifications.

"There were three ladies at work who did the Bachelor of Oral Health Therapy in Rockhampton and loved it," she said.

"That's what inspired me to do this course."

Ms Crawford-McConville also plays soccer with the Gladstone Meteors women's team.

The two of them will study full-time for three years in order to qualify for the job.

"It's not just an assisting position, it's about 80 per cent of what a dentist can do," Ms Shipley said.

"This course provides us with a broader scope of work for a better salary.

"And the campus clinic provides us with real-life patients to work with."



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