“Cairns is a beautiful place and it reminds me of my home in Papua New Guinea (PNG). There is a large PNG community living here, so it’s great to be able to connect with them, as well as the Cairns locals.”
Hansley Gumbaketi was looking for a great place to live and study when he moved away from his home in Lae, PNG, but he didn’t want to be too far away. His decision to study at JCU’s Cairns campus became an ideal choice. Hansley’s parents have a background in in building and architecture, so studying a Bachelor of Planning was a natural fit for him.
His course has involved many field trips, including one to Orpheus Island Research Station, where he spent a week interviewing local council planners, Queensland State Government officers and community members, regarding planning decisions for the island.
“My JCU lecturers have invaluable industry connections. Part of my degree involves 140 hours of industry placement and my lecturers were integral in helping me in that area.”
As a result of his work placement, Hansley has secured a job with a global engineering and consultancy firm, where he will continue to work when he completes his degree.
‘For people coming to study in Australia, it is really important to become involved in the local community and make friends. JCU offers students many opportunities to participate in events and meet new people. The support services are excellent and I have made use of them.”
Having a close PNG community at JCU means Hansley has been able to hold onto his cultural identity while enjoying living and studying abroad.
“I like the laid-back lifestyle in Cairns, hiking in the outdoors and going to the beach.”
When he finishes his degree Hansley will continue working in his job, based in Cairns and Port Moresby, with the option of pursuing further studies at JCU.