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Alina finding her passion for volunteering

This article appears in: Alumni stories
Alina at Graduation

Growing up in Katherine NT Alina always knew she wanted to stay in the Territory, coupled with a family full of Charles Darwin graduates, moving to Darwin and studying at CDU was the clear progression in Alina’s journey to study a Bachelor of Biomedical Science.

my father (Masters by Research/ Teaching), mother (Master of Nursing), and sister (Bachelor of Nursing) are CDU graduates; it was also quite natural for me to choose CDU for tertiary studies after graduating Year 12.

Alina enjoyed her time studying at CDU so much that she continued on to work at the university as a Student Groups project officer. 

When she isn’t working for CDU Alina is deeply invested in public health research and youth engagement. She was also a member of the 2021 NT Youth Round Table and an NT representative on the Australian Youth Affairs Coalition Young Leaders and Advocates Fellowship. Alina has promoted significant and positive change in communities and individuals through advocacy and empowerment.

CDU Women’s Collective for Innovation and Change

Finding a passion for volunteering

Alina started her leadership and community volunteering journey with CDU. Begging as a CDU Student Ambassador she went on to start her on student group called CDU Women’s Collective for Innovation and Change (WCIC). During her time with WCIC Alina hosted events for employability skills that helped equip students with the skills to progress to higher leadership positions in their careers, self defence workshops and the inaugural WCIC Ball and CDU Women of the Year Awards.

“CDU play a massive role in the person that I am today. “ Alina Says.

Alina’s efforts in combatting the STEM Gap were officially recognised during NT National Science Week with an award for ‘Promoting Women and Girls in STEM Representation’, sponsored by Engineers Australia.

She was a finalist for the 2022 Northern Territory Young Achiever Awards in the categories of Super Spirit Create Change Award, Charles Darwin University Innovation Award, 2022 Northern Territory Volunteer of the year and 2022 CDU Alumni Awards finalist.

Alina and Engineers Australia President, Northern Division, Richard McAllister

Taking Advantage of CDU's unique benefits

Alina took full advantage of CDU’s offerings, utilising the highly flexible study options to study from her hometown of Katherine during her first year. 

She also took advantage of CDU’s unique positioning for her professional placements. Alina undertook her lab placement with the Territory's own world renowned research facility Menzies School of Health Research.

Alina credits CDU’s small class sizes that allowed her to find such a special placement. 

“I could build a rapport and strong relationship with all my lecturers. This helped in finding placements and reaching out to science organizations. “

Alina's Tips

After achieving so much throughout her degree and beyond what tips does Alina have for those looking to start their journey or are already on their way?

Don’t be rigid on your choice of degrees; "Allow yourself to be flexible and explore the options that best suit your likes and values." 

It is far better to fail than not try at all. "I was hesitant to take up opportunities that came my way, thinking I was inadequate or might fail at them." 

Live a balanced lifestyle. "I truly believe ‘balance’ is how to live a healthy & happy life. Generally, science degrees can be content-rich; you may have to invest a lot of time in learning and revising. But it is essential to find time outside of academics to spend quality time with family and friends."

Wise Words of Advice

Be engaged in your university and outer community. Get involved, Alina says 'As important as getting a high academic record, it is essential to attain some transferable skills"

Upskilling/ growth mindset. Alina's life mission is to ‘never stop learning.’ "Keep building yourself. Research any certificate courses you could do along with your degree that would make you more employable." She says.

Alina intends to further her studies with a Master of Global Public Health while continuing on her volunteering mission. 

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