Semester One Complete!

What an incredible academic journey I am on! I have the most amazing classmates, professors and supervisors! Just finished up semester one with by handing in 3 assignments, one of them more than thirty pages long. Wrote a final exam on Theories and Approaches to Counselling, which I felt really good about. Walked out of there thinking now I have 6 weeks of free time!! This essentially will be work, travel and rotary time!! This is a busy week, Rotary club of Attadale on Monday, Rotary Club of Fremantle on Wednesday and Sausage sizzler on Sunday! The speeches have been pretty consistent and I’m starting to really enjoy them. A few weeks ago, Greg James my sponsor picked me up in Freo and drove me to the beautiful south areas of Busselton and Bunbury. I presented at my second host club Rotary Club of South Bunbury and really had a good time. There location was in this beautiful old restored hotel, the most beautiful dining room I’ve ever been in. They had a special Lounge and Hall room- I felt like I was playing Clue – looking for Mr. Green with the lead pipe (haha).
Greg took me everywhere, while letting me drive his fancy convertible! We went to the Busselton jetty which is the longest wharf in Australia, about 1.8 km long. At the end there is an underwater viewing room, so you get to go down about 12 meters, pretty neat experience. When we were out there I had mentioned to Greg that I had never seen a kangaroo and so he said lets go golfing! At the course there was roo’s everywhere!! It was great, babies and adults, all hanging out on the greens. Such beautiful creatures! I spoke at the rotary club of Collie which is a town fuelled by the mining industry. Their meeting was really interesting, I found out what a rotary Club song book was! I was giving an invite to take a tour of the Coal mine, which I hopefully will be able to do in the next few weeks! One of the Rotarians down south invited me to go to their home where they rescue animals, specifically baby joeys found in the pouches of kangaroos that were hit by deer. I got to hold a baby roo, it was so special. I felt very lucky!
A bit has changed in my employment as well and I am very happy about it!! I enjoyed working at little creatures, met some great people, tried great beers but I was itching to get back into the field of mental health. So the last few weeks I set out to find some new opportunities and I was able to find a casual position as a Community Support Officer working with children with disabilities and mental illnesses. I also secured a PT position as a Youth Diversion Officer with Centre care. There services work in conjunction with Corrections WA. Young offenders are referred to us and we work with them and their families to work towards a better life for the youth divert them from crime essentially. So this all starts next week and I will let everyone know it goes!!
Life outside of work and school has been wonderful as well. I’ve been trying to make use of all free time with outdoor adventures, rugby games, live music, road trips, wine tours, biking, BBQs, hiking, swimming and beach mellow days, although it is getting cold now!! I wasn’t aware that Aussie winters get down to only a few degrees. I’ve been learning to play guitar and I have met some truly amazing people, great Irish, fun local Aussies and recently some great Canadians who love the Canucks as much as I do!! We have been making early morning to go to the Burswood Casino to watch the Canucks play in the Stanley cup finals, two big screens a room full of Canadians and one Boston fan… GO CANUCKS in game 7!!!
I have also started my new Rotary project with my housemate Jules. It is in its early stages, but since the mass destruction in Japan, there are boy’s schools and orphanages that have been closing in India because they have lost their funding from Japan. I am leading the fundraising to come up with enough to help these schools become sustainable and get back on their feet while finances are sorted out in Japan. Pretty exciting, I will send more details in the near future. Rotary may be on board to help us out!!I also have recently qualified to play at the Australian University Games with the Notre Dame Beach volleyball team!!! Sooo stoked!! Heading to the Gold Coast in September!! 🙂 Things are very good here in all realms and once again I can’t thank Rotary enough for this adventure!!!
I hope everyone is well across the world, I really hope the Lobster fundraiser did well for my host Rotary Ogopogo Club!!!

This Photo is from the Rotary Ambassadorial Conference in April.

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About Nicole Ripley

Chosen as the 2011-2012 Rotary Ambassadorial Scholar for District 5060. I will be studying a Masters in Counselling Psychology at the University of Notre Dame in Fremantle, Australia. I will be hosted by the Rotary Club of Attadale and South Bunbury in District 9465.
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