Meet Savannah Boutsikakis………
I am from a 4th generation sheep property in Southern NSW. Throughout high school university was never on the cards for me, until my eyes where opened to early entry by my Year 12 Primary Industries class teacher
Without discussing it with anyone I went off on my own and before I knew it I had applied to University of New England (UNE) in northern NSW. One afternoon I got the unexpected email regarding my early entry offer I had gotten in to UNE, and rest of the week saw another two offers come in.
So having made it this far, I made the decision, I thought why not give the uni degree ago, its Agriculture after all how hard can it be. The stumbling block was I didn’t want to move to the other end of the state. My mum had previously seen an ad in the local paper about the Country University Centre opening in Goulburn with a phone call and a week later I was then the first registered student at the CUC. The CUC is established as a study hub to help and support rural and regional students through their university degree.
As 2018 began so did the chapter of university, studying full time online whilst working two bar jobs saw organisation and motivation in full swing. The intensive schools came, friendships that last a life time were instilled. Everything was going well until the dreaded email came I was failing first year chemistry, in tears I rang the CUC and by the time I was home I had not one but three chemistry tutors.
The CUC became more than just fast internet, it became my uni, support and back stop. Flash forward 3 year and I have just graduated a Bachelor of Agriculture the most challenging but exciting and biggest learning curve I ever did embark on. It’s an honour to be the first registered student to start and finish their degree with the support of the CUC Goulburn.
Since this I was then offered a job in the Moree region sowing the winter crops, not really knowing what I was in for and having no experience with cropping I grabbed the opportunity to go.
The week before I left I was with my family talking about the new exciting experience of going to sow the winter crops. My cousin then commented ‘So you just walk along and put the seeds in the ground’ now I knew I didn’t really know what I was in for exactly but knew it was big tractor with a big planter, so I explained the process to them. This comment really hit home for me, I knew there was a knowledge gap of modern farming practices but I didn’t realise how close to home it really was. My cousin has completed uni, lived and studied overseas, absolutely kicking goals, and yet her comment showed there were people in my family that knew very little about farming today
Agriculture today is an exciting web of careers that feed and clothe and provide people with renewable energy. I am excited to be part of it and I am looking forward to inspiring others to join me