Murdoch student proves that age is no barrier

March 17, 2011


At 72 years of age, Joyce Chalkley is proving that age is no barrier to learning, as she prepares to graduate today from Murdoch University with a Bachelor of Arts, majoring in sociology and history.

Joyce, who now lives in Mandurah, has travelled extensively throughout her life, with her husband in the air force, and had a variety of secretarial jobs as she moved around, as well as bringing up two children. She said that going to university was a lifelong dream but that she had not had the opportunity until recently.

“I had always wished I had got a degree and had a lingering interest in sociology and history, and I’m so happy I have been able to fulfil that dream,” she said.

“I did a ten week bridging course with Unifocus (now called OnTrack) on Peel campus to gain acceptance to the Bachelor of Arts course, and I haven’t looked back since.

“I really enjoyed completing the studies and mixing with the younger students, and I loved the lecturers. There were some challenges at first, such as getting to know how to write the essays and do the referencing. I’d only ever written reports and letters and things like that, so essay writing was a bit different, but as soon as I figured out how to do it I was fine.”

And now that she has graduated, there is no stopping Joyce.  More study might be on the agenda next!

“Well I’d love to do a law degree!” Joyce said, “but I hope to use the skills I’ve gathered through my degree with the voluntary work that I do. I am a past Secretary and Coordinator for the University of the Third Age, I’m Secretary of the Peel Senior Net Computer Club, and I’m also on the RAAF WA Estates Committee.”

Darren Munday, Director of Student Life and Learning at Murdoch, said that Murdoch encourages students of all ages and at all stages of life to enrol.

“University is not just for school leavers,” he said. “Murdoch OnTrack program is specifically designed for students who may have been away from study for a while, or have been unable to reach university through traditional channels. We also have many support services to ensure that all our students are fully supported during their degree.”

Joyce is urging anyone her age to take the plunge and enrol into that degree they have always wanted to do.

“I would encourage others looking at being a mature age student to just do it!” she said.

“Doing this degree has given me more security, it’s made me a stronger person, I feel I can mix more on my own and it’s given me more confidence to do other things. There’s so many people out there that would love to do something like this, I would encourage them all to go ahead. It’s so rewarding.”

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Media contact: Hayley Mayne
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Categories: General, Future Students, Domestic students
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