Brodie has always had a passion for health and nursing and was an active member of St John’s Ambulance cadets while growing up in Molong, Central West NSW.
Ideally he wanted to head to university straight after high school. This plan changed, however, when his home life deteriorated and meant this was out of the question.
“When I was nine my father passed away, he had returned from active service a few years prior and developed PTSD. My mother didn’t cope very well, becoming violent, and by the age of 15, I moved out of home. I became fully independent and started my chef apprenticeship in Orange.” Brodie said.
The now 25-year-old has been a chef for 10 years and remained driven by his passion and goal to increase regional and remote access to healthcare and education.
“I haven’t had an easy life, but have been determined to succeed. I always had a plan to do whatever it took to enable me to enter university and in 2019, it all paid off when I got accepted into a Bachelor of Nursing at Charles Sturt University.
“I was extremely worried about beginning university as I wouldn’t have much of a support network to bounce off and would need to drop to casual work to allow myself time to study. I heard about CEF through a friend from Newcastle who was a previous CEF grant recipient. I applied and was successful,” said Brodie.
At the age of 25, Brodie just slipped into the age bracket for a CEF grant (16-25) and is very grateful for the support he has received from the Country Education Foundation of Orange & Districts and additional partner funding from Three Rivers University Department of Rural Health and Charles Sturt University.
“The grant and support network at CEF has eased a lot of pressure. I am now able to commit more hours to study by reducing my full-time work hours. This is reflected in my improved results. I have already gone from just passing to three distinctions!
“After graduation my goal is to travel to remote Australian communities to further increase the access to health care. I plan on travelling to developing countries and working with the communities to better offer health care and health education.”