Ramanathan Thurairajoo has had a passion for environmental conservation and protection for as long as he can remember. His interest in studying in Australia was sparked during his tertiary studies at Ngee Polytechnic in Singapore, when he won a Climate Change Research Trip with Earthwatch to Northern Queensland, to study the impacts of climate change on rainforests.
In choosing a course to study, Rama prioritised future job satisfaction and the promise of a rewarding career. In his own words, “I was more concerned with job satisfaction than just obtaining a degree.” After graduation, he hopes to become an Environmental Manager, an Urban Development Planner or an Environmental Policy Maker.
“It is humbling to remember that this is the learning ground in which various successful world leaders first made their mark.”
He chose the University’s Bachelor in Environmental Policy and Management because of its focus on policy development and management of ecological issues at local, national and global levels. ‘It offered me an in-depth understanding of the green, blue and brown issues tied with development, demographics of population and industrialisation.’
However, it is the teaching and learning environment at the University that have really impressed him. “Its central location, beautiful historic buildings and greenery really motivate me to study. At the same time, it is humbling to remember that this is the learning ground in which various successful world leaders first made their mark.”
On arrival in Adelaide, Rama was immediately struck by the warmth and friendliness of the people, as well as the safety, multiculturalism and racial harmony that exists. ‘I have had enough experiences in other countries around the world to know that Adelaide is a particularly friendly and harmonious society to live in.”
The lifestyle in Adelaide is very different from the lifestyle in his native Singapore. “In Australia, students are actively encouraged to strike a balance between study, work and social activities.” Consequently, Raman has involved himself in numerous extra-curricular activities during his 3 years in Adelaide, including leadership appointments and volunteer positions for not-for-profit and conservation organisations. He explains, “These experiences have not only enriched my CV and helped me hone my leadership, teambuilding and public-speaking skills, they have also helped me contribute back to my second home.” His hard work and selfless dedication have won him an impressive array of awards along the way, including the Governor's International Student Award, the Rotaract Youth Leadership Award and Clubs Associations Outstanding Individual.
Although Rama is yet to reap the true rewards of his hard work, he has no regrets about making the tough decision to study so far away from family and loved ones. “It is very important to love what you do and do what you love. My passion for the environment has led me to Adelaide. I feel very fortunate to be supported by my family in studying something I feel truly passionate about.