Photo by Laura MacDonald
AVCAT alumni Laura moved from rural NSW to Melbourne for university. Laura says, ‘the most challenging thing for me with moving from the country to the city was finding solitude’. Laura warmed to the city as her studies progressed and enjoyed ‘traipsing around the city learning about different cultures, art and politics.’
In 2016 Laura commenced a Bachelor of Creative Arts (Photography) at Deakin university and was awarded an AVCAT TPI NSW Scholarship. Laura lived in Melbourne for three and a half years, until June this year (2019) when she completed her degree moved back home to rural NSW.
Looking back on her time as an undergraduate student Laura says ‘I can see how this time has built me up for the future. Melbourne fed my soul, body and mind in ways I cannot explain. Being around people who enjoyed living life, and discussing it, was soothing and challenging and developed my thinking in many ways. I am so thankful for the support of AVCAT and TPI NSW throughout this time. I could not have achieved any of it without them.’
Today Laura is charting a new course of study and is studying a Bachelor of Theology to pursue chaplaincy. Laura says ‘I cannot wait to be a travelling photography-chaplain and seeing more of this extraordinary world we live in. If I were to give any encouragement to someone desiring to pursue their dreams, it would be to know the truth never changes, no matter how we feel.’
Laura is very thankful for the support around her, and the AVCAT TPI NSW Scholarship. Reflecting on her time as a new student away from home Laura acknowledges both the challenges, and the delights.
‘Take each day as it comes, knowing that it is an important step to moving forward, not simply focusing on the big goal. Seek adventure in your everyday life. I sought out a swing set in parks close to my new home, and roamed different suburbs and streets simply seeking to enjoy everything before me. And, please consider joining a supportive community, such as a church, or other support groups, to help you through your adventure. My experience in Melbourne has marked my heart and will forever be carried with me.’
Laura says, ‘AVCAT has significantly impacted my achieving a Major in Bachelor of Arts (Photography). It allowed me to move to Melbourne from rural NSW, and lifted my financial burdens. I am very thankful for such an amazing opportunity, with strong support systems surrounding me, and the AVCAT TPI NSW scholarship.’
Laura was awarded an AVCAT TPI NSW Scholarship in 2016 and graduated with a Bachelor of Creative Arts (Photography) in 2019.