When Nikita De Thierry worked as an Indigenous co-ordinator and teacher aide at two Brisbane high schools, the prospect of attending university in Canada or working in remote Australia was as far from her mind as they were geographically.

A snap decision at a Closing the Gap education workshop steered the Wurundjeri woman and former Woodridge High student towards the School of Human Services and Social Work at Griffith University.

“I hadn’t really thought about university for myself but I made a random decision, based on my desire to help and contribute to the health and wellbeing of my Indigenous community,” Nikita says.

“I’m now on my final placement in Atherton and I’ve learned so much about providing mental health services to remote areas where there are limited resources.”

Nikita’s ultimate goal is to work with the Indigenous community back in Logan, but in the meantime, she’s feeling enriched by her work in rural communities and is thankful for the eye-opening experiences to which her education at Griffith has opened doors.

“While studying, I even spent a semester as an exchange student in Calgary, Canada,” she says. “I experienced different cultures and different educational strategies, which was absolutely amazing.

“My snap decision was the best decision.”