15 May 2018
A USC graduate from Gympie is planning a career in helping prevent illnesses caused by harmful exposure to environmental hazards.
Rachael Beltrame is working as an environmental health officer with Mackay Regional Council after graduating from USC recently with a Bachelor of Environmental Health Science.
The former St Patrick’s College senior said her career goal was to develop and implement environmental health initiatives to prevent, reduce or manage hazards including communicable diseases, vector-borne diseases and natural disasters.
The 23-year-old intends to eventually specialise in the human health effects of exposure to environmental hazards by completing post-graduate study in Environmental Health Science.
Rachael said USC’s focus on developing critical thinking and job-ready skills through professional placements had helped her make a smooth transition from study to work in her chosen field.
“As part of the degree, I completed a compulsory 240 hours of State and local government placement which allowed me to gain valuable experience in the field and provided an insight into the work of environmental health officers,” she said.
“Gaining this professional experience prior to graduation helped me greatly in my job applications, and for me to achieve my current employment in the field.”
Rachael initially started university in Brisbane when she first left school, before deciding to return to Gympie and enrol at USC’s Sunshine Coast campus.
“This allowed me to still live at home and USC’s shuttle bus service provided an economical and sustainable alternative to driving to the Sippy Downs campus each week,” she said.
“At the Brisbane university I felt I was just another number among the sea of students. At USC, my lecturers and tutors knew my name.
“While studying, and still to this day, I have received fantastic ongoing support, particularly from my program coordinator Jane-Louise Lampard.”
Applications are now open for mid-year entry to study at USC, with Semester 2 starting on 23 July.
USC’s annual Open Day will be held at its Sunshine Coast campus on Sunday 22 July.
- Clare McKay