Renee Ansley stepped out from behind her desk and took on a new challenge to help others. Now a nurse, Renee is about to embark on an overseas volunteer program to provide care and health education in Cambodia.
You’re off to Cambodia. What are you doing over there?
I’m heading to Cambodia in January as part of a volunteer program aligned with my degree through University of Newcastle/Antipodeans Abroad. They basically arrange all the accommodation, flights, and volunteer work for us and we spend three weeks in one of two Cambodian cities as nursing volunteers. This can involve health education in schools, assisting in rural health clinics, and possibly even hospital work in Phnom Penh.
What attracted you to nursing?
After 10+ years in administration/accounting roles I decided to go to uni and do my Bachelor of Nursing because I felt the need to contribute to our community, and I wanted to be proud of what I did every day.
Cambodia should be interesting work?
Definitely. I’m sure I’m not at all prepared for the culture shock I’ll be getting and it will be such an eye-opening experience to see how public health care operates in countries without the resources we here in Australia take for granted.
How long have you been studying and how long is there to go?
I’m a first year student, so just done with semester one and started on semester two. 2.5 years to go! It’s definitely a struggle being a mature age student with a family, work, etc, but I feel that I’ve taken the time and made the right choice.
How’s the fundraising to get over there going?
I’ve just started! The cost of the program is $5500 through Antipodeans Australia which is great considering what it covers. I’ve just raised $420 through donations at this point and even that is incredibly helpful and could pay for passport renewal, or immunisations. Whatever I can’t fundraise will hopefully be paid for in student loans - trying to avoid using the Mastercard!
What’s the ultimate dream? Where do you want to end up with your nursing career?
I want to work in aged care at this point. There’s a lot of people there without voices who need support of people who can speak for them.
Is there a back up plan in case it doesn’t work out?
No! I don’t plan on it not working out ... once I set my mind on something I make it happen!
Tell us about your roller derby exploits
My team just went to Canberra on 26/7 and competed against Varsity RDL. We came second - there’s no losing when you have such a great time on the track. We’re lined up to play Coastal Knockouts at Wauchope on the 30th of August. Should be fun!
If you want to support Renee's fundraising cause, go to: http://www.gofundme.com/biir00