Hello all. My name is Lishayda Martin. I’m a descendant of the Gengulou and Wakka Wakka people. I am a participant of IYMP Toowoomba
I am a 27-year-old, mum of 4, holder of various business and health qualifications about to graduate university with a Bachelor of Nursing. However, the journey towards my achievements hasn’t always been easy. I first came on the IYMP project as a 17-year-old from the country with no definitive career plan and limited life experiences. I knew I wanted success and felt I was more than just a marginalised statistic and I had something to offer the world.
With this in the back of my mind, after having been accepted into IYMP, I commenced a tertiary prepatory program in order to gain entry into university. I searched undergraduate catalogues and thought nursing would be a suitable fit for me.
In 2011, I began my Bachelor of Nursing. The first year was hard. Adjusting to the course load and living away from family but with the help of IYMP staff and other students alike, it became more and more bearable. Just as I was beginning to find my feet at university and having successfully completed my first year, I learned I was pregnant. I decided to defer my university studies whilst I focused on preparing for the life-changing event of being a mum.
I relished in my new role as a mum, however I knew I had to keep growing professionally as well. I remained on the IYMP project and continued to be supported while completing numerous certificates including a Certificate III in Business and Certificate IV in Business and Business Administration.
I volunteered in the IYMP office to gain practical skills and work experience. IYMP were able to help support me financially, something I was most grateful for, as I needed to keep up my health qualification namely first aid, mental health training and QLD health modules. Over the time I was deferred, I also extended my family and now have four children including a stepson. Through this entire time, IYMP staff were there to guide me as my will to always be working at something became increasingly more apparent with every challenge.
In 2017, while still having the support of IYMP I made the decision to go back to uni and finish my nursing. If I thought the first time was hard, boy was I in for a challenge this time. I had four children and part time work to now factor in. I also learned I would have to commence my Bachelor all over again as a new nation-wide nursing program had been introduced. The challenges were abundantly obvious. Without the continued support and encouragement from the IYMP staff and project, this part of my journey would almost have been impossible.
I knew I had to be persistent and more determined than ever. I sought as much assistance as I could. I applied and received numerous scholarships, utilised tutoring programs and actively remained in contact with the Indigenous nursing support at university. With the aforementioned aid, I was able to successfully complete 24 subjects, 15 exams, 36 Assignments and 920 hours of unpaid clinical shifts.
Two years later and subsequently eight years since starting university, I graduated with my Bachelor of Nursing, having been accepted into two of Queensland Health’s graduate programs, Darling Downs Hospital and Health Service and Gold Coast Health.
Through reflecting on my IYMP journey, I have realized two things. 1. You will only succeed if you put your mind to it and 2. Its ok to ask for help.
Determination is powerful. It outweighs all circumstances and if we utilize all the negative thoughts, doubts and obstacles as fuel to get to our destination, we can do anything. I recall thinking needing help made me weak and that it made people view me as a failure before even getting to know me. However, I’ve learned no one can do it all alone and it’s not worth it if you don’t have people to share your success. With that being said, I would like to formally thank Carlie and the rest of the staff at Toowoomba and Jason for their continued support and constant willingness to allow me to grow and develop throughout these years.
Thanks for allowing me to share my story.