Rocky's role as a stepping-stone as Clair embarks on medical degree

Published:07 December 2018

Clair Stafford proudly displays her testamur for the Bachelor of Science (Psychology), her most recent award.

For someone who has travelled to every continent on earth and who got engaged beside a toothless elephant seal pup in Antarctica's Paradise Bay, Rockhampton may not seem particularly exotic.

However, Clair Stafford acknowledges that the Beef Capital has played a huge role in her future, as she embarks on her quest to become a doctor, around the time of her 31st birthday.

She's currently considering offers from two university medical schools - both impressed by her diverse portfolio and interviews - and will start her next study journey in late January or February 2019.

Clair doesn’t consider herself as academically outstanding and acknowledges that her entry scores (GAMSAT and GPA) weren’t the highest.

"My hope is to inspire and encourage other rural and mature-aged applicants to get out there and take a chance to reach their own dreams," she says.

Clair grew up in the quiet rural town of Innisfail before her family moved to Caloundra.

She initially came to Rockhampton five years ago to work as a student placement coordinator for The University of Queensland's Rural Clinical School.

Clair's recent CQUni graduation was to celebrate her third major academic qualification, a Bachelor of Science (Psychology). Part of this degree journey included a Rising Star program to develop research and data analysis skills.

She also has a Bachelor of Business (HRM) from CQUni, a Masters of Business Administration (HRM) from the Australian Institute of Business and a Cert III in Business Admin from the Bremner Institute of TAFE.

Proud of her ruthless efficiency, Clair has a long-standing track record of juggling study, work roles and volunteer roles.

She's currently working for CQUni as an industry placement officer for the School of Nursing, Midwifery and Social Sciences, and as a sessional lecturer for the School of Business and Law.

Clair has also been working for Southern Cross University's Indigenous Tutorial Assistance Scheme (ITAS), as a study support officer, while volunteering as an 'iTrack' mentor for The Smith Family's online mentoring program for high school students.

She has even managed to fit in a role with CQUni's Career Connection service as a mentor and career advisor.