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Building Orange 2
Level 2, Room 13
Casuarina campus

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Samantha Gartland

“CDU really did help me to change my world!”

Samantha Gartland

I began my journey at CDU in 2008. After working as an apprentice chef in Melbourne, I completed my Certificate III in Commercial Cookery through CDU and worked as the Head Chef at Quality Frontier Hotel Darwin for three years.

I ended my career as a chef after 10 years when I found out I was expecting a baby. When my daughter came along I wasn’t sure what I would do for work as I felt hospitality was out of the question as a single mum. After a chat with the CDU career advisors I met the VET team for Financial Services and I really got excited about the future.

I enrolled in a Certificate III in Financial Services (Accounting) and went straight on to a Certificate IV. When my year of study was up, I learned that my Cert III and IV units could be put towards a Bachelor degree and being an ambitious person I wanted that opportunity.

I commenced my Bachelor of Accounting in 2011. What a challenge and what a great learning experience! As a mature-aged student I could really see and fully appreciate the knowledge I was gaining. The class sizes were fabulous! You were able to build relationships with your lecturers, unlike in the major cities where you may be competing with 200 other students for some face-to-face time. In my second year I received the inaugural Sandy Nairn Memorial Scholarship which was a highlight of my time at CDU.

I completed my degree in 2014. Lucky for me I had already met my future boss at the uni gym and started working at Darwin Airport, six months before I finished my studies. I have progressed from being a trainee accountant, to a graduate accountant, to a full-time accountant and I am now studying for my CPA with the full support of my workplace.

My confidence grows every day and I have CDU to thank for being such a supportive learning environment. CDU really did help me to change my world!