At the age of 16, when the students around her were discovering their interests and planning for future careers, Caroline was forced to move out of home.
Caroline moved to the west and began her commute from Braybrook to Ferntree Gully in an attempt to keep up with her peers in high school. Despite her resilient efforts of enduring a two-hour commute every morning and afternoon, Caroline sought an alternative pathway into education. She found herself completing her VCE studies at VU Polytechnic, finding comfort in the west among like-minded and welcoming students.
“I never fitted in at high school. The commute was exhausting, I didn’t get along with my teachers, and the work was unengaging. When I came to VU Polytechnic I was expecting to finish Year 12, get a job and just get by, but I was supported by the teachers here and began to love the subjects I used to hate in high school.”
English became Caroline’s outlet, and essays her tools, “I went from crying every day about English, to becoming excited about new topics I could write about.” Since then, Caroline’s works have been published in Victoria University’s Offset Arts Journal and featured in exhibits at MetroWest.
Caroline continued to excel in her studies and received the VU Achievement Scholarship to study the Bachelor of Business (Accounting). She attributes her growth in education to her two VCE teachers, Ashrin Kumar and Shivany Prasad, who have supported Caroline’s journey since the beginning.
“Self-confidence was the most valuable thing I learnt from my studies; I never thought I would finish but now I am the first person in my family to finish school and graduate from university.”
Caroline has plans to expand her current role in social media and eventually explore the education and training space:
“Victoria University has left a big imprint on me, the community and relationships I built in particular. Education would be something I may venture into, being able to teach and pass on my knowledge to others.”
Image: Caroline (centre) is pictured with her VCE teachers Ashrin Kumar and Shivany Prasad.