Joshua Smith

'History allows us not only to learn about the past, but also to learn about the present...'

  • Joshua smith

Studying towards a Bachelor of Arts in History with a minor in Political Science

Interviewer, Colmar Brunton

Joshua came to study at UC because he was keen to study towards a degree that he had a particular passion for. ‘History allows us not only to learn about the past, but also to learn about the present because nearly all the issues of society today had their beginnings in the past,’ he says. ‘I enjoy learning and developing my own ideas and thoughts.’

In particular, Joshua enjoys his courses looking at Modern History. ‘My favourite subject areas are the decline of the great powers in the 19th Century, the rise of Germany and the origins of the First World War, and the interwar years and the rise of fascism and other dictatorships.’

Although studying is made difficult with his cerebral palsy, Joshua is determined to see his goal through to the end to prove he is capable of the challenge of getting a university degree.

‘I wanted to prove to myself that I had the ability to do something interesting with my life. It was a direct challenge to myself to improve my self-esteem through achieving something great despite my disability.’

Joshua commends the Disability Resource Service (DSR) for giving him the aid he needed to get this far in his studies.

‘Without help from the Disability Service it would not be possible for me to do this degree. It was most important when I was starting out at university, particularly with preparations around essays and exams. The note-taking service and transcribing of notes is incredibly helpful for people with vision impairment problems. The Disability Service is also great for getting people used to the day-in day-out workings of University. For someone who has not studied before or who has fears about the difficulties associated with studying, the Disability Service will provide ample support to make their studying experience worthwhile.’

Joshua has certainly enjoyed his experience at UC so far. ‘Good lectures, interesting courses, challenging assessments. UC is a great place to interact with new ideas, hobbies and people of different cultures. It truly is a wondrous place where one can’t help but be influenced by the joy of learning new things and expanding your mind.’

Joshua currently works as an Interviewer at Colmar Brunton, a marketing research agency based in Australia. ‘It is a job in order to introduce myself into the workforce,’ he says. ‘It fits in well with my University commitments.’ As for a future career, Joshua believes the skills he will gain through his Arts degree will be vital to his success. ‘Hopefully I will get a job that can utilize my memory and research skills that I have directly learned from studying, that I can achieve in rather than worrying about my physical limitations.’

Joshua has some sound advice for those that may find starting at UC to be daunting or too much of a challenge.

‘The most important thing is to try your hardest. If you put the work in you will get the reward. Remember to ask for help when you need it. Also pick a degree that you are interested in, it will help motivate you to do your best. If you have any doubts about studying just give it a go. There is no failure in trying your best.’

Grace Smart

Grace Smart

'I'm finding my history degree really relevant because policy involves a lot of critical thinking...'

Mereana Wi-Kaitaia

Mereana Wi-Kaitaia

'I get a kick out of investigating our past, asking questions about it, and evaluating any improvements we have made today...''