Mother of five returns to study to help residents in need
AFTER years of working through a series of different jobs and raising a family of five boys all while tacking the battles of a challenging life, Colleen Wilson is just months away from starting her dream career.
The Warwick mum is currently coming to the end of her psychology degree through the University of Queensland and said it was a passion for people's health and well-being that drove her to make the life-changing decision to study at the age of 39.
"I'd done all sorts of things while raising my family," Miss Wilson said.
"From working as an area manager for McCains, to behind the counter at The Cheesecake Shop in Stafford, retail positions and as a production runner at Pohlmans.
"Always took in my work and it gave me scope to meet a lot of different people from a lot of different backgrounds but I always wanted to help people."
While living in Warwick, Miss Wilson crossed paths with Mercy Family Services.
"I got to know them quite well and through that friendship I began to consider studying social work or counselling, but it was a friend who suggested psychology. I applied thinking I wouldn't be accepted."
In November Miss Wilson will hand in her thesis, which looks at how anxiety affects short term memory.
Miss Wilson has had her own experiences with the power of the mind.
"When my marriage ended I lost 21 kgs in one week.
"I was only about 47kgs at the time. The effects of my mind doing a marathon, affected my body the same way it would through exercise."
Next year she will be able to apply for a provisional psychologist practising licence and plans to work in Warwick.
"There are so many people who need help here," she said.
"And I'm really interested in cognition, how the mind works - what we think in relation to what we do."
Miss Wilson said she had found her calling.
"This work is so incredibly interesting, I love it," she said.