Work, kids, study: all in a day’s work for Skie

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WORKING MUM: Skie Peterson has managed to fit study around her role as a mum to three young children as well as her work as an integration aide.

WORKING mum of three Skie Peterson overcame her fears of being “too old” and not “being smart enough” to undertake a university degree.

There were also the challenges associated with time management as a mother, along with her part-time work as an integration aide in a prep classroom.

What Skie thought were hurdles proved to be anything but, and she is now entrenched in a Bachelor of Early Childhood Education with Swinburne Online.

“Children, families, community have always been my thing. I have been drawn to this type of career for as long as I can remember. It’s who I am,” said Skie, who lives in Ocean Grove, southwest of Melbourne.

“To be honest, even though work colleagues have repeatedly encouraged me to further develop my qualifications, I never thought I was smart enough for uni.

“Recently though, I was thinking about when my children grow up and leave home, (and) I was suddenly overcome with this need to prepare myself so that when they eventually do, I have my own life.

“And teaching is really all I have ever wanted to do in respect to career options.”

Skie completed Year 12 in 1997, went on to gain a Diploma in Child Studies at TAFE and worked as a nanny. Her children are now aged 14, 11 and nine, and she was drawn to Swinburne Online because of convenience.

“It fits around my work, my children, and all the bits and pieces that go along with running a busy household,” Skie said.

“I am quite committed to being around for my children as much as I can, so studying online has afforded me that privilege while increasing qualifications and preparing me for taking on a heavier work load in the future.

“I have enjoyed collaborating (online) with cool, diverse people from all over Australia. I liked taking time to read their thoughts and ideas.

“The course material has truly been engaging and inspiring and enjoyable. I feel that I have gained a great deal of understanding as well as a clearer picture of what type of teacher I hope to be.”

And the secret to being a successful online student? Routine. Skie sets herself a schedule and sticks to it.

“(I have) commitment and resolve to join in and collaborate and interact with my online learning communities so that I don’t feel isolated,” Skie said.

“Having inquisitiveness and a passion for understanding and growth – this kind of attitude allows me to look at my learning as a privilege rather than a chore.”

Find out more about how you can fita university degree into your busy lifestyle at

* This article was written by an independent journalists and part of a commercial arrangement between Fairfax Media and Swinburne Online.

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