Career

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Cherie Martin_main_image

Launching a new career


Cherie Martin spent 13 years up in the air as a flight attendant. Looking for a new challenge, she decided to come back down to earth to pursue a Bachelor of Midwifery. With three kids of her own to support, and a part-time job to squeeze in as well, this soon-to-be midwife is more than ready for her new life welcoming new lives to the world.

“Becoming a midwife was always in the back of my mind, but I never, ever thought I’d go to university or do any kind of formal study,” said Cherie. “I just didn’t think I was academically minded.”

Before enrolling in a Bachelor of Midwifery, Cherie was a busy mum of three working for Virgin Australia for 13 years.

“It was a great company, lots of fun, and I got to travel all over the country,” she said. “But I was ready for something else. I thought I’d apply for the degree and just see what happened, so I was really shocked when I got in.”

Finding her feet

Cherie admits her studies got off to a shaky start. “It was incredibly daunting and overwhelming at first."

"I was in my late thirties and I hadn’t written an essay for more than 20 years. I was told I had to do this thing called ‘referencing’ and I had no idea what that even meant.”

Throwing herself into the deep end turned out to be her best move, and Cherie quickly became determined to take advantage of every opportunity.

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“I was that student – in the front row of every lecture and I couldn’t type my notes fast enough. I never missed a class and I’d go home at night and go over my notes again,” she said.

“I was really forthright with everything and everyone. I introduced myself to all of my lecturers and tutors to put a face to a name. I also went to all of the free academic skills sessions on campus – I learnt how to write essays and how to improve my study skills.”

Showing off

With three young kids of her own, dedicating her spare nights and weekends to her studies wasn’t easy for Cherie.

“As a mum and a mature student, I put extra pressure on myself. I put my whole family through this and it meant being selfish and taking time away from them."

 

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“But I also saw it as a good opportunity to show my kids that mums can do anything. I was very open with my three, and I said Mummy has homework to do just like you. I knew it would be worth it. My degree was about sacrifice, but it was about finding balance too.”

Coming of age

Studying at high school is a distant memory for Cherie, but she had no problems relating to her school-leaver classmates. 

“There was a range of age groups studying with me. This actually really helped as when you’re on the job, you have to deal with all types of different people.”

When Cherie moved from the classroom to the maternity ward to begin her practical training, she quickly discovered being a mum herself was an advantage – and an easy ice-breaker.

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“A lot of pregnant women asked me if I had kids myself. When I told them, ‘Yep, I’ve got three at home’, I could see in their eyes that they felt more confident with me, knowing I’d been through it all before.”

Work wonders

While Cherie is about to graduate and has already participated in many births as part of her degree, she hasn’t lost her sense of wonder.

“I admit I still get teary. The first birth I witnessed (not counting my own children) was incredibly surreal and it was fascinating to see it from a different perspective.

"It made me appreciate women even more. Getting to see the essence of love in that particular moment is so special and it’s a privilege to be a part of it.”

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Impact brings you compelling stories, inspiring research, and big ideas from ACU. It's about the impact we’re having on our communities, and our Mission in action. It’s a practical resource for career, life and study.

At ACU it’s education, but not as you know it. We stand up for people in need, and causes that matter.

If you have a story idea or just want to say hello, do contact us.

Copyright@ Australian Catholic University 1998-2019 | ABN 15 050 192 660 CRICOS Reg: 00004G