Matthew is no stranger to the academic world. With multiple degrees under his belt at both an undergraduate and postgraduate level, he has a fiery passion for education, and is driven to make change in the mental health industry.
Matthew works as a nurse unit manager at Flinders Medical Centre in Adelaide, where he manages the clinical aspects of patient care – liaising with doctors and other staff, to ensure everything runs smoothly. Matthew’s study path had always centred around health, but in mid 2015, he shifted his attention to law, enrolling in a Juris Doctor with RMIT University, through Open Universities Australia (OUA). Although he’s working full time in a demanding role, he’s sticking to his study regime and is on track to graduate in 2019.
Matthew’s change of focus came about after years of observing the health and hospital systems. “You see people’s health outcomes, and you also see the disparities” says Matthew. “I was a bit disturbed by people entering prisons who had a mental health diagnosis – they were disproportionally represented in prisons”. Matthew became interested in the interaction between the mental health system and the criminal justice system, and felt that having legal knowledge would give his viewpoints some clout in his current and future roles. “It’s something I wanted to arm myself with” says Matthew.
Matthew admits that studying online while working full time is no easy feat. He spends 10-20 hours per week studying, on top of his 40 hour work week. But it’s his goal of possessing a deep understanding of the law that drives him when times get tough. While his juggling ability verges on superhuman, he insists that “it’s not so much of a struggle if you’re doing something that you’re interested in”. Matthew’s advice to others is to ease in gently, keep your study load manageable, make time for exercise and relaxation, and seek guidance from your tutors. Like Matthew, if you’ve got the passion and can envision the end goal – anything’s possible.
What is Open Universities Australia (OUA)?
OUA is not actually a university. We partner with 10 leading Australian unis to bring you over 150 degrees in the one place.
Through OUA, you have access to degrees from Macquarie, RMIT, Curtin, Swinburne, Griffith, La Trobe, UniSA and Murdoch University. You study the exact same degree as an on-campus student, under the guidance of the university’s tutors. The only difference is that you study online, on your own terms. You choose when, where and at what pace you earn your qualification.
Attaining your dream degree is made easy through OUA. Regardless of whether you finished high school or received an ATAR score, we’ll provide you with a study pathway into your chosen degree. As for affordability, OUA offers access to government loans, so you don’t have to pay upfront to get started.
Explore over 150 degrees to find the right one for you, or call a friendly OUA Student Advisor for tailored advice on 13 OPEN (6736).