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Peel Community Foundation

Peel Community Foundation recently caught up with Lilijana Nichols who was one of Peel Community Fund’s Murdoch University scholarship recipients in 2021.

Lilijana had chosen to study Forensic Biology and Toxicology, with a career aspiration to work as a Forensic Examiner with the Western Australian Police Force.

“Forensic Science is definitely not like TV shows,” she said. “But I knew that going into study. I think expectation was really important as it is a very science-based degree so a passion for biology and chemistry is essential. That’s what drove me into this degree as it combines my love for science and my sense of justice.

“My degree has exposed me to a number of disciplines in forensic science and criminology. These include toxicology, CSI, DNA, entomology, wildlife crime, genetics, anthropology, profiling, criminal behaviour and crime prevention.”

She said she particularly enjoyed the DNA, topology and crime scene components of the study she undertook.

“This has led me to undertake an Accelerated Research Master project in Forensic Toxicology, focusing on herbal medicines. My goal now is to do my PhD next year, and I am currently assessing options for research projects. I am unsure what specific career this will open up for me, but my aim is still to work in a forensic laboratory.

“This scholarship has allowed me to have a low HELP (Higher Education Loan Program) debt, which is a particular stress in these current financial times. It has also meant that I don’t have to worry about focussing on work when university needs to be prioritised.”

As if she wasn’t busy enough with her study load, Lilijana is “giving back” herself at Peel Bright Minds, planning, running and mentoring young people interested in STEM.

If you would like to contribute to the learning journey of Peel residents you can donate to the Peel Community Fund Scholarship today.

Image credit: Edenvale | Visit Mandurah and Russell Ord Photography

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