Abigail Dixon has recently begun working in the trauma section of Prince Alfred Hospital, and says it was her mum who inspired her to pursue nursing at the University of Technology. Abby says that her mum “has always been a natural carer, and I loved the idea of becoming as maternal and caring as she is. I’m also really nosey, so nursing was perfect for me!”
Abby started Year Seven at Kincumber High School in 2007, and says she enjoyed high school, “You are so lucky at school because the teachers put time and effort into teaching you. At university it’s very much about learning for yourself and not being ‘spoon fed’ so to speak. I also really loved my teachers … I just had a great deal of respect for them and what they do for us as students.”
Abby spent her school years involved in a variety of programs for Gifted and Talented Students organised by interested teachers, including lectures on ethics hosted at Knox Grammar School, talks by Holocaust survivors at Sydney Jewish Museum and participation in the Model United Nations. Abby and her friends represented France and placed third. Abby was also part of the debate team, and participated in debates judged by local rotary clubs.
“Success is just doing what makes you happy in a career that you love ... it’s about using the skills that come easily to you so that you can expand your knowledge and grow in your work ethic."
Abby was voted school captain in Year 12 and ran assemblies throughout the next year. Abby organised school discoes, and represented the school in a range of events. She was also a dedicated student, and studied Advanced English, Extension 1 English, Society and Culture, Biology, Advanced Mathematics and Extension 1 Mathematics.
Some of these subjects have been more important than others, but Abby says that high school is a time to “have fun while you can and enjoy those subjects that aren’t what you aspire to do as a career because chances are you will never do them again. For me that was art, for you that might be maths. I don’t know. Just enjoy it.”
For Abby, it’s important to maintain a balance; “stress less, but keep up those good grades, because it makes everything so much easier.”
After Abby graduated with a high ATAR in 2012, she spent a year visiting every country in Europe, before working for a year in her home country of England. Abby says that her time abroad was "the best thing I ever did. I got my head around what I really wanted to do ... and I met people (students and professionals) who were either nurses, doctors or lawyers and they all gave me helpful advice so that I could make up my mind. It's important to remember that you make the decision and no one else." Abby returned to three years of study at the University of Technology in Sydney. She chose UTS because it has been ranked number number four in the world for nursing. It also has the best equipment in the Southern Hemisphere (with the exception of one university in Western Australia.) Abby says that "all of our labs are set up as hospital suites/ birthing suites. We do 800 hours clinical placement over the 3 years and the midwives are on call with their actual patients. Our tutors and lecturers are all industry professionals which is great because they know exactly what's going on."
She was heavily involved in the drama program at UTS, starring in productions like ‘Urinetown’ and 'Hairspray.' Abby is graduating with distinction, and after a gruelling interview process, is now starting a full-time role as a registered nurse, aspiring to Critical Care. Abby will be working at Royal Prince Alfred Hospital in Sydney, a major trauma unit.
“Success is just doing what makes you happy in a career that you love,” says Abby, “It’s about using the skills that come easily to you so that you can expand your knowledge and grow in your work ethic. Money is certainly not a measure of success, so it would be wise to remember that.”