Physiotherapist and Carlton Football Club AFLW player, Kerryn Harrington, told her story of studying a Master’s degree while building a career in professional sport, in a bid to inspire others to take on further study.
Ms Harrington spoke as part of La Trobe University’s first Postgraduate Expo in Bendigo.
Ms Harrington completed a Bachelor of Exercise Science followed by a Master of Physiotherapy Practice while competing as an elite-level athlete – first with Bendigo Spirit in the WNBL, and then with Carlton Football Club in the AFLW.
Ms Harrington says she was able to manage study, coupled with an intensive training schedule and work commitments, with support from her lecturers and La Trobe’s Elite Athlete Program (LEAP).
“It was a bit of a juggle at times – because I was also working part-time at a physiotherapy clinic in Bendigo, trying to get as much experience as I could in the field,” she said.
“It helped that both my sporting commitments and study were all within a few kilometres of my family home – and I had a lot of support through La Trobe’s LEAP Program as well.”
Ms Harrington said her Master’s degree gave her work placement opportunities that eventually led to her securing a role as a physiotherapist at the Carlton Football Club.
“One of my final clinical placements was at Carlton, and I was lucky enough to be offered work there afterwards,” Ms Harrington said.
“My dream job coming out of high school was to work as a physiotherapist. What I am doing now is the culmination of all my passions in life.”
Also speaking on the day was Kristy Kemp, Founder, CEO and principal social worker at Flash Farm in Bendigo – a purpose-built centre where clients take part in animal-assisted therapy.
As well as inspiring speeches by La Trobe alumni, the Postgraduate Expo offered one-on-one course advice and free LinkedIn headshots for attendees.
Aimed at both current undergraduate students, La Trobe alumni and professionals wanting to enhance their careers, the Expo provided an opportunity to explore wide-ranging study options.
La Trobe University’s Pro Vice-Chancellor (Regional), Professor Richard Speed, said the Expo offered information and advice to those wishing to advance their careers.
“La Trobe offers a rich and exciting choice of flexible study options at postgraduate level, tapping into the University’s world-leading research and teaching excellence,” Professor Speed said.
“Our Postgraduate Expo gave attendees a glimpse into how their career, earning potential and job satisfaction can grow with further study, regardless of age or stage of employment.”