Joan Oliver is 70 and is going back to school

“I walk about an hour-and-a-half every day, I swim four times a week, there’s no sitting down watching telly or reading trashy novels for me,” she said.With life experience on her side and a very supportive family, Ms Oliver said she was thrilled to finally satisfy her longing for a better education.And her advice for other elderly people considering further education is: “Do it.””It’s never too late and I’ve seen people that could be about my vintage at the campus and it doesn’t take long to feel like you belong.” “My plan at this stage is possibly to work with the community on a voluntary basis because I think I’ve missed the boat when it comes to a career,” she said.And while most 70-year-olds are settling into retirement, Ms Oliver said she had no plans to slow down. Joan Oliver never felt satisfied with her education after being taken out of school at age 13.Now aged 70, she has completed her VCE — last year she was the oldest graduate in Australia — and is starting university for the first time.Sitting at the grounds of Victoria University in Footscray, Ms Oliver was feeling slightly daunted before the first class of her criminal justice degree began.It has been more than 50 years since she left high school.”Part way through year seven I was taken out of school at age 13.”My mother didn’t believe in education for girls and I was sent off to work in a dressing gown factory.”Married at 19, and giving birth to her first child shortly after, Ms Oliver said she had always wanted to further her education but life got in the way. (ABC Radio Melbourne: Fiona Pepper)
“I was an avid golfer but unfortunately I incurred an injury and I couldn’t play golf anymore, and I thought right, now is the time to go back to school.”While completing her VCE, legal studies became one of Ms Oliver’s favourite subjects; that led to her decision to study criminal justice at university.If all goes to plan Ms Oliver will be in her mid-70s when she graduates with a Bachelor of Criminal Justice, significantly older than most university graduates. Photo:
After finishing up her VCE last year, Joan Oliver is getting stuck into a bachelor criminal justice at Victoria University.
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(ABC Radio Melbourne: Fiona Pepper) ABC Radio Melbourne

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Fiona Pepper

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March 08, 2017 09:07:20

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Joan Oliver says it’s never too late to better your education.

Indigenous student recognised for excelling in STEM

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Ross Kay

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March 08, 2017 12:46:34

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Indigenous student Greta Stephensen receives her award. (ABC Wide Bay: Ross Kay)
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On the screen over time the particles arrange in the shape of the narrow slit. (ABC Wide Bay: Ross Kay)
Her advice for any woman considering studying STEM subjects is simple — your perspective is important.”I think if you’re a woman and you’re wanting to go into the STEM field then you really need to just try,” Greta said.”You really need women and people from diverse backgrounds to go into the workforce. “What we’re doing with the Indigenous STEM awards is showcasing some of these great Indigenous leaders that we do have.” Quantum mysteries of the double-slit experimentThe subject Greta chose for her investigation was one that was originally performed more than 200 years ago but still confounds scientists to this day — the double-slit experiment. “Research shows that when you do have diverse groups you have greater results, you have a diversity of opinion, and you have different ways of looking at problems,” she said.”If you have a single type of person working on a problem, they may not look at all the possible angles, but if you do have a mixed group of people they may think of things that you may never have considered. The experiment shows how light can demonstrate characteristics of both a particle and a wave.Photons or matter are shot towards a plate with one narrow slit and a screen behind it. ASSETS program manager Jen Parsons said the importance of diversity in the sciences could not be overstated.”We have a lot of knowledge and expertise in our Indigenous communities,” she said.”A lot of time the reason why we don’t see good representation of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples is purely because they may not know that opportunities exist, or they may not have those types of aspirations. (ABC Radio Brisbane: Jessica Hinchliffe)
In May Greta will fly to the United States for the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair as a guest of the CSIRO, where she will observe competing teams from around the world, including Australia. “I had to submit an application with all the things I had done, so that included the camps and the competitions and an [extended experimental investigation] that I had done, that presented my skills and my passion for STEM.”

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STEM subjects centre around science, technology, engineering and mathematics. A young Indigenous woman has been recognised by the CSIRO for her passion and pursuit of excellence in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM).Greta Stephensen, from St Mary’s College in Maryborough, received the CSIRO Indigenous STEM Student Award after attending an Aboriginal Summer School for Excellence in Technology and Science (ASSETS) camp, as well as demonstrating her work on an experiment.”The award is about passion for science as an Indigenous student,” Greta said. When the particles are observed or measured, they arrange in the shape of the two narrow slits.But when unobserved, the particles arrange in multiple lines, as though the particle waves have interfered with each other.”When they’re not observed they create a bunch of lines at the back of the wall, and they think that is due to diffraction, so we chose to do our [experiment] on the diffraction of people,” Greta said.”So we set up the experiment and came up with the same results, which is really hard to explain considering scientists still don’t know why the particles are doing that.” Encouraging more women into scienceGreta has plans for university study in the future.”If I get a good enough OP I’m hoping to apply for the University of Queensland and get into the dual degree of engineering honours and maths, and then I would like to apply for a cadetship with the CSIRO,” she said.”If I get that I can work with them all through uni and then after that I don’t know where I’ll go. “If we have them, then the world will be better because we’ll be able to have new technologies and new perspectives.”It is an idea echoed by Dr Parsons, who adds that broader perspectives can lead to better problem solving. STEM subjects in fashion Thinking of a creative industries career? Anywhere in STEM, NASA maybe.”I’m very passionate about STEM, and I don’t think anyone could influence me not to do it.”

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Greta will spend two weeks in the US attending the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair in Los Angeles. “It’s really important not only for women to recognise that it’s a fantastic career opportunity, but also for organisations to see the benefits of having women, and Indigenous women in their organisation.” External Link:

The Double-slit experiment explained
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Stationery social enterprise changing girls’ lives

(Facebook: Words With Heart)
She said pitching to male investors also had its challenges.”I’ve had times where I’ve pitched to men and have had comments on my voice, appearance and things that are off the topic of investing in a start-up,” Ms Shuttleworth said.”Every woman I know in the start-up space has a story like that.” A Brisbane woman has created a social enterprise stationery business to help fund education projects for women in developing countries.Lauren Shuttleworth said she began Words With Heart two years ago after being inspired while on a volunteer trip to Kenya. External Link:

Words with Heart
“I met a 10-year-old at a school but the orphanage she was at couldn’t pay her school fees anymore,” she told ABC Radio Brisbane’s Terri Begley and Rachel Fountain.”It really upset me.”When I came back to Australia I decided I wanted to create a source of funding for these girls that wasn’t a one-time donation but an ongoing source.”I realised that starting a business was the way to go, and I wanted to do something that would help education, so stationery was a good fit.”The social enterprise measures its impact and success by how many education days they can fund.”So far we’ve funded 70,000 education days across Sierra Leone, Cambodia, Uganda and Nepal,” Ms Shuttleworth said.”Our aim is to fund one million education days by 2019.”Being a woman in the start-up worldMs Shuttleworth said getting ahead in the start-up world was at times difficult; currently 75 per cent of start-ups are founded by men.”Sometimes when you go to a networking event for start-ups it can feel like Where’s Wally trying to spot the other female in the room.”It can feel unwelcoming at times from the sense of being different, especially in the tech space.”

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Stationery made by the social enterprise helps women and girls in developing countries learn.
(Supplied: Words With Heart) ABC Radio Brisbane

By

Jessica Hinchliffe

Posted

March 08, 2017 12:58:33

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Lauren Shuttleworth hopes to use paper to make a difference.
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Brisbane 4000

Siblings reunited after brother given up on street 70 years ago

It was during the Depression years, and people were strapped for food and cash and everything else.”That was that — until Mr Stubblety was reunited with his sister this week in Perth, where Mrs Crick had eventually moved to live.She said she was overwhelmed about meeting her brother for the first time.”I was nervous but I was very excited. and then my brother drowned and after that it was just me.”He is now surrounded by brothers, nieces and nephews — a feeling he said was “indescribable”.And as for where they go from here?”We’ll just be brother and sister and we’ll be seeing each other again at every opportunity,” Ms Crick said. (Supplied: Family)
“I never thought it would get this far … “It took her breath away … “We were very close, it was only me and my brother … Bruce Stubblety and Barbara Crick are 69 and 73 years old, but despite sleeping in the same cot as babies, the brother and sister have lived a life apart.The siblings were separated when Mr Stubblety was put up for adoption at the age of just two months.After having had no contact for almost 70 years, the pair has been reunited after some online sleuthing by Mrs Crick’s granddaughter. (ABC TV News)
While the story of how Mr Stubblety was given up for adoption differs, what he does know is his mother was walking down a street in Richmond, Melbourne in 1947 when she was approached by a woman.”She said ‘That’s a nice-looking baby’ [and] my birth mother replied ‘do you want him?'” he said.”And they went down to the Richmond town hall to sign the birth papers and I went home with her. there wasn’t much information,” Ms Crick said.”Nana is always talking about what happened to her and her siblings and I realised that was my opportunity.”I went on to the Government website and I filled in the form and got our identification and just waited.”When the day finally came for the long-lost siblings to meet, it was an emotional and overwhelming occasion. My mother would go to jumble sales and get dresses, and trousers, pull them apart and then make our clothes out of the old Singer [sewing machine],” he said. Photo:
Mrs Crick and Mr Stubblety were reunited at Perth Airport this week. I always knew I had brothers out there but he [Bruce] didn’t know,” Mrs Crick said.”We slept in the same cot together as babies … to see her seeing someone that she had known as a baby, it was amazing to see and be a part of,” Ms Crick said.Meeting family ‘indescribable’, brother saysMr Stubblety said his adopted family life had been close knit.”They did everything they could possible do for me. Photo:
Mrs Crick says she was overwhelmed about meeting her brother. I was looking for a Peter but they’d changed his name.”Granddaughter used website ‘and just waited’The reunion was the work of granddaughter Angela Crick, who began investigating the family tree in January 2015.
(ABC News: Sarah Collard) By

Sarah Collard

Updated

March 08, 2017 21:01:17

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Bruce Stubblety and Barbara Crick have a lot of catching up to do.
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Perth 6000