Kristal Bruniera

Seizing the opportunity to change her life has led Master of Teaching and Learning graduate Kristal Bruniera to pursue a career that she loves. The Townsville local had completed a Bachelor of Business and decided that industry was not for her.Portrait of Kristal Bruniera

“It was just time for a life change,” she said. “Everyone has these great ideas of what they’re going to do when they’re 17 at school and you get out and it’s not what you think it’s going to be. Then you have the opportunity to be the thing you wanted to be but you didn’t think you could be. So that’s why I’m here, loving it, and can’t wait to finish it.”

Driven to make the most of every opportunity, Kristal chose to experience what it is like in a rural or remote community while studying the Master of Teaching and Learning. She said the time she spent at a school in Cardwell, Queensland, was amazing.

“I was at a tiny school with only 80 children,” Kristal said. “I had 15 in my class and I was teaching both the Year 1 and the Year 2 curriculum, so I learnt so much. It was such a great experience and I recommend it to anyone who has the opportunity to do it.”

Kristal said the course more than prepared her for day one in the classroom. From literacy and numeracy to science and sustainability education, she had the chance to immerse herself in a broad range of subjects. As well as the knowledge and skills Kristal gained during her postgraduate studies, she also formed strong relationships with fellow students and lecturers.

“Having such a small group of us, all of us girls get along so well and the lecturers were so supportive throughout everything, which has been really lovely,” she said. “I think it made it one of the best courses I’ve studied so far. JCU is a great university, I think it’s well-respected not only in Townsville but Australia-wide.”

Kristal said Master of Teaching and Learning students need to be organised, but also flexible. She said while the course was a lot of work, it was incredibly rewarding.

“Do it,” she said. “It’s so rewarding. You have to have that goal in mind and it’ll all be worth it in the end.”