After moving to Victoria from South Australia, James Healey worked part-time and enrolled in a Diploma of Laboratory Technology at Box Hill Institute. In 2016, he decided further his studies, enrolling in the Bachelor of Biosecurity Science, which covered several of his interests and offered something completely new and relevant.
According to James, Box Hill Institute’s class sizes were perfect and the teachers were very supportive. He said, "If you needed anything, and I mean anything, they would make time for you. I could only imagine being stuck in a lecture with 1,000 other students at larger universities and not fully understanding the topic and how hard it would be to get an answer from the lecturer."
James’ his favourite experience throughout his studies was the friendships he made along the way. He said, "Not only have I made professional relationships with lecturers and industry representatives and life-long friendships with other classmates. I was even lucky enough to meet my wife Erin, and we are expecting a baby in October 2021."
James is now working with the Department of Agriculture, Water, and the Environment ranks but as part of his final unit before he completed his course, he completed an 8-week internship with AUSVEG, an industry representative body for vegetable and potato growers. This placement taught him about biosecurity from an industry perspective, gave him extensive experience and vastly improved his communication skills. He said, "As a part of my current job in the department, I still engage with the staff from AUSVEG, and I feel that the professional relationships I had made with them make my work just that little bit easier."
Thanks to his course at Box Hill Institute, James was been well equipped for the real world. He said, "I took the chance and enrolled, and I am so glad I did. I have had full-time employment in the Department of Agriculture, Water, and the Environment since the day I completed the course.
"I can't think of a thing I do in my current role that doesn't relate to the work I did while at Box Hill Institute. I've been full-time here for three years now and it's everything I ever wanted to do," he said.