A double degree in nursing and paramedics has put Crookwell High graduate Katie Brennan, 21, on the path towards a long-held ambition: joining the Australian Army.
“I love fixing people and helping people,” Ms Brennan said. “I am really lucky as the last year of my degree will now be sponsored through the Australian Army. This will help me out with not having to work as many jobs part-time.”
Ms Brennan grew up at Mulgowrie on her family’s farm. They farm sheep, cattle, goats, chickens and a couple of alpacas. She has three siblings: two sisters and a brother.
She began her primary education at Five Mile Tree School, which had only 12 students in attendance at the time. The only student in her year level, she relished the one-on-one time with her teacher. She went on to St Mary’s Primary, then Crookwell High.
Three years ago, Ms Brennan began her nursing and paramedical studies at the Australian Catholic University campus in Canberra. “If I had started to earn a wage [after high school], it wouldn’t have been easy to go back to study,” she said.
The Australian Army’s sponsorship “is wonderful because I can fully focus on my studies,” she said. “I will eventually be a nursing officer with my own platoon.
“I am also looking forward to a chance at humanitarian deployment overseas or to stay in Australia to look after our soldiers. Dad always said to me that you get out of life what you put in and I don’t think you really learn anything unless you push out of your comfort zone.
“Another good thing about the health industry is the variety of jobs.”
Defence university sponsorships are available for a broad and varied range of degrees, in fields of: engineering; medical, dental and health; business, administration and education.
The requirement varies by course, but undergraduates must have completed either one or two years of their degree. In return, the ADF asks students to complete one to four weeks of training each year in holidays, then full-time service on graduation for the number of years of sponsorship plus a year (minimum: three years).