What are you currently researching?
I am researching the role of traditional medicine in a biosphere reserve in southern Africa, with the intention of exploring the relationship between self, bio-region and biosphere. I am looking at the holist approach of traditional medicine, and how this approach may improve health and well being and enhance social and ecological sustainability.
Where has your current research taken you?
At the end of last year, my candidature was successfully confirmed, and after a year of hard work, I was finally off my “P” plates. Since then I have become more confident in pursuing my research interests and can now look forward to my field research.
What facet of Monash University contributes most to your research?
Having access to the excellent library resources and staff at Monash University has been invaluable to me since starting my PhD program. It was reassuring to know that staff were available to assist me in overcoming some of the initial difficulties that I experienced on returning to study.
What has been the greatest challenge?
The adjustment from being a full-time employee to a full-time student has been very challenging, in particular the financial constraints of being a self-funded PhD candidate. Finding a balance between being disciplined in my study program and also making time for the other commitments, interests and relationships in my life has been a challenge too, at times. Experiencing unexpected tragedy during my candidature has been both a difficulty and a motivation to continue.
What have you enjoyed most about undertaking research in your subject area?
Returning to the School of Applied Media and Social Sciences, at Monash University’s Gippsland Campus has helped me to feel a sense of “belonging”. This sense of familiarity has encouraged me to think about the many opportunities that may be possible in the future. This new way of looking at myself and the future, is the best part of this study program and for me, the purpose of any intellectual pursuit. I also really appreciate the “gems” that I get from fellow researchers and academic staff at the university when I know that what they have shared with me has saved me hours of researching, and made me think about new possibilities.