Name: Lisa Best
Pursuit: Academic & Education
What is your dream?
If I were to sum up my goal in a single word it would be kindness -kindness to help those in need and empathy to look into the eyes of those in third world countries and understand that I am just like them. It was simply by chance that I was born in Australia and finally the wisdom to do all that I can not to waste this opportunity. More specifically, my goal is to become a qualified veterinarian and join Veterinarians Without Borders to promote animal well-being, human health and economic development domestically and internationally . My career aspirations are to reach third-world countries through the agricultural industry. Agriculture is often the only income people in third world countries have but more often than not they aren’t in a financial position to spend money on the health of their animals. This means that not only does the family suffer financially but the animals suffer as well. Qualified veterinarians are very limited in such places and once I discovered the enormity of the potential impact I could have on these communities my decision to follow the career path of vet was clear.
How did you find your passion?
In Year 11 I had the opportunity to become a mission leader which entailed a year of fundraising and then a two week trip to Cambodia to organise children’s educational programs and deliver emergency food and much needed educational supplies. It was on this trip that I had a life changing moment and realised my passion to help third world countries. This simple advice was given to me:“if you actually want to make a difference get a skill and then come back” which is exactly what I am going to do. At first through experiencing extreme third world poverty I interpreted this passion as wanting to become a doctor. Once I started doing research on all the amazing programs that are available to qualified vets all over the world in places in dire need and reading the differences they make on both the animals and people involved, I decided to change my course to Veterinary Science. Since then I have also done an overseas mission trip to the Philippines through ICM. ICM is an organisation that works with the ultra-poor within the slum communities of the Philippines. Our main focus was to build two primitive toilets in extremely poor villages. In addition we held lessons for the community on sustainable agricultural methods, basic health education, and microfinance opportunities.
Tell us about your dreams / goals for the next 12 months?
My Goals for the next 12 months are essentially to find a good balance in life settling into university. I aim to get as much out of university as I can - educationally, socially and personally. I aim to get good grades whilst involving myself in the university as much as I can.
How will the scholarship support your endeavours?
The scholarship will take a huge weight off my shoulders. The money will pay for board, food, transport, textbooks and start-up costs which all adds up to much more than I can afford. The scholarship has given me the opportunity to focus more on university which is something I will always be thankful for.
Career highlight or biggest achievement?
My biggest achievement was probably receiving the Academic Achievement award at my year 12 ceremony. Education is extremely important to me so it was a very exciting moment.
How important is inspiration in your life?
Inspiration is incredibly important to me as I believe it is what keeps us both grounded and motivated. Inspiration is what makes me get out of bed in the morning and make the most of each day. Inspiration is what drives me to make goals and not stop until they are fulfilled.
Who’s your hero (and why)?
My hero is my mother. She is a single mother raising 2 children on a low income however still managed to work full time and study a university degree part time for 7 years. She has always made herself available whenever my brother or myself needed her. Yet during this time managed to get distinctions throughout her entire degree despite having not studied in over 25 years. Her dedication and determination to education inspires me everyday.
How will you support your community in the future?
Eventually once I am qualified I will give back to the community through my career aspirations- helping animals in remote locations which will extend to the families and wider community.
What’s the motto that you live by?
I'm not sure where this quote came from but I have always loved it; "If opportunity doesn't knock, build a door."
Anything upbeat that comes on the radio.
My sisters keeper
Favourite TV Show?
If you had one message to share with others chasing their dreams what would you say?
I would encourage young girls to put all of their effort into achieving their dreams. Don't let the length of time it will take to achieve your goal affect your decision- time is going to pass anyways. Don't let doubts and insecurities affect you- never let yourself believe that you aern't smart enough or incapable of achieving what you set out your mind to achieve. There are always ways around bumps in the road. Don't be afraid to reach out for help when you need it, you don't need to take the journey by yourself.