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16 February 2021

Years of hard work and goal-chasing will pay off for more than 12,000 new QUT students next week when they start university.

Best friends Jamieson Ritchie and Meg Chester are among the new students who will take part in O Week (February 22-26) before classes begin on March 1.

They are both embarking on double degrees at QUT and are already planning lunchtime catch-ups at Gardens Point during Semester 1.

Orientation will give students a chance to make new friends, explore the campus, learn about clubs and societies, attend seminars, enjoy food and entertainment, and pick up their free first-year t-shirts and study planners.

First-year students will receive this limited edition 2021 QUT t-shirt.

Jamieson, 17, has enrolled in a Bachelor of Engineering(Honours) / Bachelor of Information Technology and hopes her robotics experience at high school will give her a head start on her studies.

“I never knew what I wanted to do until Year 10 when I went to a summer school at the University of Sydney and studied robotics,” she said.

Jamieson Ritchie and Meg Chester.

“From there I enrolled in my school’s robotics program and competed at the national RoboCup event.

“When I did the robotics program at school my coaches were past students who’d gone on to study mechatronics and robotics at QUT … that really inspired me. Now I’m going back to do some coaching this year too while I’m at uni.”

Meg, 18, is starting a Bachelor of Business / Bachelor of Design and has already connected with other first-year architecture students through a Snapchat group and a wider first-year students Facebook page run by QUT.

“I’ve wanted to do architecture since I was in Year 7 and I think it will be a good advantage to have a dual degree,” she said.

“When I was little I’d always design things on the iPad – houses and buildings.  Then once I did design as a subject at school I decided I really liked it.

“I’ve learnt a lot about QUT at open days and I love that the university is in the city on the river. The location was a big drawcard for me – it’s a beautiful campus to study on.”

Allanah King is studying nursing at QUT.

Allanah King, 18, has enrolled in a Bachelor of Nursing after deciding two years ago that nursing would be her life-long career.

“All my family are teachers and nurses but at first I thought, no, I’m not going to become a teacher or a nurse!” she said.

“But I had to choose something for a traineeship at school and when I did my first interview at Logan Hospital they took me for a tour and it was the most amazing instant feeling – I thought, yes, I want to do this for the rest of my life.”

Allanah earned her Certificate III assistant-in-nursing qualification while still at Rivermount College and also completed a Certificate III in Business last year.

“It’s amazing that I got to start my career at 16 with that hospital apprenticeship – it was literally my first job,” she said.

“I currently specialise in diversional therapy for disability and I work with patients with Alzheimer's.”

Allanah, who is a Waanyi Ganggalida woman, said she chose QUT because of recommendations from hospital colleagues and other students.

“QUT has been the number one school recommended to me for nursing and I know how much support it gives its students and its Indigenous students through the Oodgeroo Unit,” she said.

And while international travel is not currently on the cards, Allanah already has some global life experience.

“I’m one of five children and my dad works in mining – our whole family lived in Africa for three years from when I was 13 to 16, and we lived in Indonesia when I was five,” she said.

Dan Woodrow and Stephan Muller are in QUT's Elite Athlete Program.

Dan Woodrow, 18, and Stephan Muller, 18, are both new members of QUT’s Elite Athlete Program and are both studying the Bachelor of Sport and Exercise Science course.

Dan is a St Peters Lutheran College graduate and Ambrose Treacy swimmer who specialises in the 100m and 200m freestyle and is a national junior medallist.

“I’ve been an athlete for a long time and I’ve really liked being a student of the sport and always learning,” he said.

“I think this course will give opportunities to go down the research path or the elite coaching path.

“I train about 20 hours a week and also work part-time at the pool.  It keeps me busy – keeps me on my toes!

“The Elite Athlete Program will give me the flexibility to work my classes around my training schedule and swim meets.  And I’m very happy that all my lectures are online for my first semester – it saves travel and time.”

Stephan is an Ormiston College graduate and cricketer, and was a batsman with Queensland’s Under 17s before making his first grade debut this summer with Redlands.

“I think studying sport science will definitely help me with my own sport – we do a lot of strength and conditioning training and I find it quite interesting how that affects performance,” he said.

“I’m looking forward to uni. I’ve planned out my timetable around my training sessions … I’ve got a few online lectures at night and I’ll go into the uni three days a week, so it will be good to still get in there and experience the campus.”


QUT Vice-Chancellor Professor Margaret Sheil congratulated all of the university’s new students on their achievements through a challenging 2020 and welcomed them to QUT for 2021.

“You are entering an exciting new period of your life and I encourage you to become part of the university culture by making the most of your time at QUT, both inside and outside your formal classes,” Professor Sheil said.

“There are plenty of people ready to share their own experiences and help you navigate this new environment. Don’t hesitate to ask questions. We were all new once ourselves and we want to you thrive here.”

QUT Media contacts:
Mechelle McMahon,
Rose Trapnell (after hours), or  0407 585 901


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