The road to creating a better world
For Bachelor of Criminal Justice graduand Phoebe Paterson, the path to graduation has been a challenging but rewarding one.
Born with a heart condition and hearing loss due to a deformed right ear, the Lakes Entrance native was regularly travelling from the coastal town in Victoria’s east to Melbourne for hospital visits.
At age 19, she found herself in Melbourne again – this time, relocating to pursue further study at RMIT.
Phoebe applied to study criminal justice because she always wanted to hold a career where she could help keep the public safe.
“The degree has helped me gain a better understanding of the criminal justice system and how I can help shape a better world for everyone,” she said.
It was overwhelming moving out for the first time alone, but an RMIT Study Support Scholarship helped ease the transition.
“The scholarship supported my move into RMIT village accommodation, which meant that right off the bat I was able to get a network of friends. The staff were also very helpful and I knew I could go to them if I had any issues,” she said.
Volunteering with the RMIT-run peer mentoring program SLAMs, helping international students learn English, was a highlight of her studies.
“I think I learned as much from the students as they learned from me – what their life was like, sharing our experiences.
“RMIT really allowed me to create these kinds of amazing connections, not just with the students from SLAMs, but also with other students in my course who share my passion for social justice.”
She said it was a surreal feeling to be graduating.
“I’ve worked so hard throughout my degree to get to this point, to better myself and my work.”
Story: Jasmijn van Houten