Ms Hannah Stack grew up in Wyoming on the Central Coast and chose to study paramedicine after experiencing a life-changing event during her childhood.
Hannah watched as members of her family volunteered with St John Ambulance and Surf Life Saving Australia.
“These positive influences ingrained the importance of giving back to the community and helping others,” she said.
As a child, she spent some time in hospital and became curious about medicine and enjoyed watching the dynamics of the multi-disciplinary health teams working together.
Hannah was accepted via early entry into Charles Sturt’s Bachelor of Clinical Practice (Paramedics) in Port Macquarie in 2014. She moved to the United Kingdom after graduating in 2016 to work as a paramedic and travelled to more than 20 countries during her time off.
Hannah enrolled in the Master of Paramedicine (with Critical Care Specialisation) to further her education and be able to study while overseas.
“I knew I would likely need a postgraduate qualification to advance in my career and specifically work in the education sector,” she said.
“I chose to specialise in this area for my master’s qualification as I was passionate about the content and I thought this would keep me motivated to study again.”
Hannah currently works as a Paramedic for NSW Ambulance and as a Lecturer in Paramedicine in Charles Sturt’s School of Nursing, Paramedicine and Healthcare Sciences in Port Macquarie.
“I love that I can support and guide students in a profession I feel so passionate about,” she said.
“I hope I can make a similar positive impact on students as my teachers and lecturers did when I was a student at school and university.”
The University Medal is the highest honour that the University Council can confer on students at Charles Sturt.
Any student graduating from a Charles Sturt coursework Masters degree is eligible for a Postgraduate University Medal. Students must have at least 64 points of study completed at Charles Sturt and a GPA of 6.75 or higher.
Hannah achieved a GPA of 6.75.
She said receiving a Postgraduate Medal came as a surprise but that it was nice to be recognised.
“I believe it’s important to be humble in your achievements, however, it is also nice to be recognised for the hard work and dedication that I have put in,” she said.
“It is an incredible validation of one’s efforts. Receiving a University Medal is something I’ll cherish for a long time and I feel very grateful.
“I was never the type of student to be the first to answer questions in class or score perfect grades, however, I have been fortunate to have educators who have gone above and beyond to ensure I am able to reach my full potential.”
Studying, travelling and working proved to be a challenge for Hannah but she created a study schedule and focused on time management to ensure she reached all her goals and milestones.
“You don’t have to be the smartest person in the room to succeed, you just have to work hard, be a good person and at times, challenge yourself to move outside your comfort zone and say yes to new opportunities,” she said.
Hannah was unable to attend the Sydney graduation ceremony, due to presenting her research at the Australasian College of Paramedicine International Conference in Melbourne but said graduating from Charles Sturt is an indescribable feeling. It signifies the start of a new chapter in her career and higher education journey as she said she hopes to complete a PhD in future.