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Law student by day, midwife by night

As the world celebrated International Nurses Day (May 12), Rohan Williams was rejoicing in the knowledge that he would soon be in bed.

A nurse and midwife – and a newly enrolled law student at the University of Southern Queensland (USQ) – Rohan is no stranger to late nights.

But after a string of 12-hour shifts at the Royal Darwin Hospital, it wasn’t long before the 33-year-old was asleep.

His dreams carrying him to his former workplace in Kenya, where he delivered babies and health care to some of the world’s most impoverished communities.

“My experience in Kenya actually changed my career trajectory profoundly,” Rohan said.

After spending just three weeks in Africa, as part of a World Youth International volunteer program, Rohan rewrote his entire future.

“It was extremely confronting realising that despite our care, nothing was going to change for the people I directly came into contact with in regards to improved health outcomes, better standards of living or opportunities for education and employment,” he said.

“I love being a nurse and a midwife, and helping others, but I want to make a real difference.

“My ultimate goal is to work for the World Health Organisation (WHO).

According to WHO, there is a global shortage of health workers, in particular nurses and midwives, who represent more than 50 per cent of the current shortfall.

Coupled with a law degree, Rohan feels his qualifications will allow him to help address these shortages.

“As 2020 is the Year of the Nurse and the Midwife, and with everything that has come our way already this year, I feel there is no better time to embrace change, and look at how we can really fulfil our potential,” he said.

Rohan will begin his Juris Doctor – a graduate entry program for non-law graduates – at USQ in June.

Enrolments for Semester 2 are now open.

group of smiling people
Rohan Williams was inspired to study law at USQ during his time volunteering as a midwife in Africa.