Taneika Dalton – Bachelor of Applied Science (Physiotherapy)

Taneika Dalton

Inspired by the health professionals in her home town who kept the small rural community healthy, throughout high school Taneika Dalton hoped to become the first person in her family to go on to university, but assumed she’d attend a regional campus near her home town in rural New South Wales. The E12 scheme opened up her options and made the University of Sydney a possibility, and eventually a reality.

"I grew up on a wheat farm 20km outside Hillston, a small town in rural NSW with a population of 1052. The school I went to from kindergarten to Year 12 had around 200 students in total – my Year 12 class had just 14 students.

Not many people from my school go on to uni, although our teachers always encouraged us to consider it. Most go on to do apprenticeships in agriculture and other fields.

But I was inspired by the health professionals in my town, and the role they played in keeping our community healthy. In such a small town they have really diverse roles – each one really needs to be a jack-of-all-trades.

I wanted to study physiotherapy because I wanted a career that would allow me to work in the city or in the country.

So I’d always hoped to go to uni, but I never expected it to be Sydney – I thought I’d probably end up going to a rural university closer to home.

The E12 scheme definitely influenced my decision. When the careers counsellor at my school told us about it, I saw it as an opportunity to shift my goal and set my sights on a bigger uni. It really opened up my options, and made aiming for Sydney Uni a real possibility. Coming from a small town, that was a big opportunity.

I first came to Sydney Uni on Open Day, and that really opened my eyes. I was so impressed – the people were really friendly, it was such a beautiful campus, it just seemed like such an exciting place to be. I really wanted to come and study here.

The E12 scheme is what got me here. It’s such a great opportunity. It allows students who are less privileged to be recognised for what they’ve achieved in their lives. It gives you a chance to show more of yourself than just a four-digit number.

We’ve already had a special orientation, where student ambassadors gave us tips on things they wish they’d known when they first started uni, and staff and Union representatives answered our questions. We were given talks on everything from where to pick up our student card to the power of positive thinking to influence our studies.

The scholarship will really help with the costs of moving out of home, relocating to Sydney, paying for my accommodation, buying my books and so on. And the iPad is awesome!

I’m really excited about studying physiotherapy at Sydney Uni, because it’s taught by people at the forefront of the field in terms of research.

I’m also looking forward to meeting new people, trying new things, living in the city, seeing the bigger picture. It’ll definitely be an eye-opener for me, coming from such a small town!

When I graduate I’d like to work in the country, helping to address the shortage of health professionals in rural areas.

It’s been a bit of a change, coming from where I grew up to studying at Sydney Uni. So far it’s been a bit of a whirlwind, but a really good one."