Mastering education

On her graduation: Margaret ‘Midge” Gray, with her mother Margo Gray, celebrates her scholarly achievement. Photo courtesy of GFP Graduations.

Achievement. Margaret ‘Midge’ Gray has graduated from Charles Sturt University with a Master of Emergency Management.

Splitting her time between Mella and New South Wales, Midge has been making the monthly trip to Sydney to volunteer with two emergency services.

While in Sydney, she also finds the time to teach casually at a girls’ private kindergarten to year 12 school.

Back home, she is also a volunteer with Red Cross having joined the Burnie branch in 2014.

It was here that her interest in emergency management was piqued.

“I actually hadn’t considered emergency management until I was deployed by Red Cross to help in Queensland after Cyclone Marcia (February 2015),” says Midge.

“I was very interested in seeing how agencies worked together to help communities after a disaster.”

She overhead talk of a Bachelor of Emergency Management at CSU, where she had completed her Graduate Diploma in Education.

After applying to the university, it was recommended that Midge take on the master’s as she already had two bachelor degrees under her belt: one in business and the other in criminology and criminal justice.

She has learnt about different areas of emergency management, including investigating the Circular Head Emergency Management Plan and looking at risk management, which can be applied in different emergency situations.

Her major research project was one that she enjoyed: ‘The Intervention and Prevention Strategies used to Support Firefighters Mental Health’.

Midge extended a “very big thanks” to Sally Stanley and Rachel Nicholls at Smithton Library for their help with her research.

Attending the graduation ceremony at the end of August, Midge celebrated the end of her degree.

But not the end of her studies: she is currently studying a Graduate Certificate in Fire Investigation, another area of interest.

“I am hoping that my research will help people to realise just how important it is to support emergency service personnel in the area of mental health.

“Currently I am looking into areas where I can apply the knowledge that I obtained from my master’s degree.”

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