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USC student and mother of eight relishes busy life

3 May 2017

There is a simple secret to juggling full-time university with the demands of a new baby, seven other children and a family business, according to USC Gympie student Antonija Monckton.

“It is loving what you do,” said Mrs Monckton, 34, who is in the second year of the three-year Bachelor of Nursing Science at USC’s Gympie campus.

After spending many years home-schooling her older children at the family’s Kilkivan property, west of Gympie, she decided last year it was her turn to hit the study books.

“I made up my mind that I was no longer going to wait to follow my dream of becoming a nurse,” she said.

The encouragement she needed came from elderly visitors to the Kilkivan Bush Camping and Caravan Park that Mrs Monckton operates with her husband.

“We have many grey nomads visit our park and one of their most common regrets is wishing they had done things when they wanted, instead of waiting around for a so-called right time,” she said.

Arguably one of USC Gympie’s busiest students, Mrs Monckton is also among its top performers, achieving an impressive grade point average of 6.3 out of a possible 7 in her first year of study, while taking a short break to give birth to her eighth child.

She attributed her academic success to thoroughly enjoying all aspects of the Nursing Science degree, which develops students’ scientific knowledge of bioscience, anatomy and physiology, mental health, drug therapy and research.

“It might seem like a lot to take on, but the flexibility of the timetable allows me to complete most of my weekly lectures and tutorials in two days.

“I love those two days where I can almost escape from other demands and just focus on my nursing studies.

“The other bonus is that my study allows me to show my children that if Mum can go to university, they can too.”

The Bachelor of Nursing Science is the most sought-after degree at USC’s Gympie campus, where purpose-built nursing labs allow students to learn through simulated hospital scenarios using advanced interactive manikins.

“It is wonderful to have access to such a fantastic facility, and a program focused on face-to-face teaching and practical experience through supervised clinical placements in hospitals, aged care facilities and health agencies,” Mrs Monckton said.

Applications are now open for mid-year entry to study at USC, starting Semester 2 on 24 July. Details on how to apply for more than 90 undergraduate and postgraduate programs can be found at

— Clare McKay

USC Gympie Nursing Science student Antonija Monckton

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Contact the USC media team

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Clare McKay Media Relations Officer (Regional) +61 7 5456 5669

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