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Zukhra Aminova (Uzbekistan)

My journey began in the Republic of Uzbekistan, in the bustling city of Tashkent. In 2019, I embarked on a new chapter by moving to Kazan, a city in the Russian Federation. Currently, I reside in Bowen, Queensland, with occasional visits back to Tashkent to spend time with my mother.

My educational path has been diverse and filled with a thirst for knowledge. In 1997, I completed a nursing degree at a medical college. Driven by curiosity and a passion for learning, I later pursued a Bachelor of Education degree, which has proven invaluable in both my professional endeavours and current studies. Despite my initial interest in business, I found myself drawn to humanitarian sciences. In 2020, at the age of 40, I completed a Masters in Education in Kazan, which broadened my knowledge but left me contemplating my future path.

Having taught English for a decade, I honed my communication skills and gained valuable insights. However, personal challenges led me back to Tashkent, where I delved into the social aspects of life, pondering the underlying factors that shape people's experiences. It was during this time that my family in Australia offered me the opportunity to pursue further studies. Intrigued by the Master of Social Work program's alignment with my background and experiences, I made the decision to move to Australia.

Choosing a university was a significant decision, but the unique features of the program at James Cook University (JCU) stood out to me. The 1000 hour placement component and the support provided by the JCU enrolment and international departments made my transition smooth and efficient.

Upon arriving in Australia, I was captivated by the country's natural beauty. The azure sky and breathtaking beaches provided a serene backdrop for my studies. JCU itself felt like a welcoming haven, with its supportive staff and inclusive environment that celebrated diversity.

Image: Zukhra Aminova (centre) 

My academic journey at JCU has been enriching. I've completed eight subjects so far, each one offering a unique and intensive learning experience. Subjects like mental health and social work have particularly resonated with me, igniting a passion for addressing mental health issues in the future.

My first placement was at Bowen Flexicare, which was a great source of knowledge about the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) and people with mental health issues. I’m now ready to start my second placement with QHealth soon, where I’m keen to learn from experienced practitioners. It’s exciting to explore these opportunities for learning and to work towards securing a position in the field of my choice.

Looking ahead, my short-term goal is to graduate successfully, setting an example for my daughter. I see social work as a journey of continuous development, and my long-term aspiration is to become a proficient and respected social worker, dedicated to helping others achieve their goals and lead fulfilling lives.