Corinne Leach painted a portrait that many of us now see within higher education; the way we study has changed to adapt to the demands of work, family and life outside of school.
“Maternity leave was the perfect opportunity to continue my lifelong learning.”
Having completed an Advanced Diploma of Naturopathy at the former Australian Institute of Applied Sciences in 2011, Corinne saw the need to upgrade to keep up with industry requirements, refresh her skills and grow her knowledge base.
A parent of two 5-year-old twin girls, Corinne began her studies at Torrens University in September of 2018, when her kids were almost two years old. Taking on this workload was a challenge, yet Corinne joked that it helped her recover from “baby brain” and inspired her to continue her journey as a “lifelong learner” and be a role model for her kids. The flexibility of her course mixed with online learning was ideal for Corinne and for people like her, who have little ones at home, are working full-time or have other demands that don’t allow for full-time study.
"I took on one subject per trimester up until my final year, which prevented burnout and allowed me to still be present with my children.”
Corinne found value in her course, discovering a duality in her role as a practitioner and a mother. Both roles need to be collaborative and supportive. A mix of conventional medicine and allied health is the best outcome for a patient. And creating a support system around you is what works best for work and family.
“Education is invaluable, and we are very fortunate in Australia to enjoy the privileges that come with higher education: increased independence, opportunity and freedom.”
The path to education can be a lonely one, but it doesn’t need to be. Along the way, Corinne leaned on her mother Carol for support when assessments were due and reached out to her lecturers and clinic supervisors who helped her to “grow as a person and clinician,” giving a special shout out to staff members Sunny Patel and Elizabeth Greenwood.
Corinne is a shining example of the many wonderful stories that have surfaced from this year’s ceremony. Her passion for higher education opportunities, particularly for women and girls, is a note echoed by many graduates who will leave Torrens University Australia this year, taking their drive, passion and innovation into their future careers and beyond.