Why did you pick Medley?
Medley wasn’t actually my first choice! I had received an Australian Awards Scholarship and selected Brisbane as my first choice University because most of my friends had gone there. Because of my mobility needs (I need a wheelchair to get around) I needed suitable accommodation, but unfortunately at that time the University in Brisbane was unable to find something that was right for me. I found Medley Hall through the University of Melbourne who were able to provide me with the accommodation and support that I needed.
Describe your experience of coming to Medley as a new student.
It was my first time living away from Zambia and it was a great adventure on every level imaginable. As a mature student, studying my Masters, my initial concern was that being at a largely undergraduate college it would be full of younger people and that I would have difficulty fitting in. But when I arrived, I did not feel as if I was in a foreign place. I found that people embraced me wholeheartedly with their open arms.
What did you like about Medley?
Medley has a great sense of community and I felt as if it was a home away from home. I made many friends including someone from Israel who had visited Zambia, and it was good to meet people from different backgrounds. Being such a small college everyone looked out for each other, for example when there was a fire drill people always made sure that I was OK. The annual ball and dinners were always nice and a different experience each time.
What sorts of things activities did you get involved with it at Medley?
I tutored, providing administrative support and pastoral care for the students, which was a bit intimidating at first, but I really enjoyed the experience.
What are you doing now?
I work for the Zambian government as a statistician in the Ministry of Tourism and Arts but I also add my voice for advocacy for persons with a disability in schools and workplaces, focusing on their well-being and helping them thrive. I use my experiences now, and from my time at University, to show people that we can make people with disabilities lives easier. Being at Medley helped my understanding of this. For example when I first got there, the staff were quite anxious as how I might fit in. Most rooms and bathrooms at Medley are wheelchair accessible but there were other things that needed to change, like using the kitchen, so we worked through all of those to arrive at better solutions.
What's next for you?
I see myself as a person who does things, achieves things, thinks big, and has a full life. I always imagined myself as someone who would go out and see the world for myself and I have just returned to visit Melbourne, staying in Medley Hall as a guest!