Referencing may not inspire passion and excitement for many, but for Anita Goddard it’s a thing of beauty.
For many UOW College students, Anita has imparted her love of this essential skill which has seen them go from strength to strength when they make the transition into undergraduate degrees at university.
After working in the Faculty of Business as a tutor at the University of Wollongong, Anita applied for a job at the College about five years ago to work with students in the Diploma of Business Studies, believing her experience at the University would be of great benefit to those students choosing to get their qualifications through the College pathway.
“I started teaching skills for academic studies. I have always believed that students need to go into a university boot camp before they enter any undergraduate degree to learn how to reference, and which style is used in their faculty, how to find information and how to structure an essay for university rather than high school.”
And according to the students she has supported in their journey, it’s Anita’s absolute passion for getting all the little things right that has helped them achieve such high marks when they do find themselves in the undergraduate course of their dreams.
“One of the things I share with students is that I have been referencing a lot - for my degree, for my Masters and now for my work,” she said.
“I had been working in the Business faculty since 2008 and have been referencing all that time, and I still have to look up how to do some things.
“I emphasise how important it is to acknowledge someone’s work and the source of their ideas. Academic integrity is the whole world of academia, so to give students a good grounding in it is something that I really love about my work at the College.”
Anita is also no stranger to entering the world of tertiary education as a mature-aged student and brings with her to the College her own experience in trying to navigate that path.
“Because I was a mature-aged student I have an understanding of the students who come to College from somewhere else and come to tertiary education from a different pathway,” she said.
“After I left school, I couldn’t wait to get away from studying and got through my Higher School Certificate in bits and pieces.
“I was devastated at my poor results even though theoretically I was a smart person. I got a job as a filing clerk then entered the public service where I worked for 15 years in the Australian Customs Service, mostly at Sydney Airport.”
It was during this time that Anita decided she wanted to try studying again and at 23 started an arts degree.
“I struggled with the language subjects I studied, then I did a few business subjects and got High Distinctions and realised that was where my abilities lay. I studied part-time, worked full-time, and plodded along until I achieved my degree.
“I am the nurturing type and I really enjoy working with students in first year, it’s why I also like my role at the College,” she said.
“I get to help people and really see them grow. It’s nice to see them achieve. At the university, I don’t get to spend as much time with the students as I do at the College, so here I get to know the students much better and can see who may need more help.
“That is one of the aspects that I love about teaching at the College. One of the other things I love is being able to help kids who are struggling, especially in areas of mental health and use my own experience in having someone in my life who experiences neurodiversity and mental health issues. I really want to help those students succeed.”
UOW College Australia