Dr Susan Nixon from UQ was the first member to receive the recently created CBNS Carer’s Support Fund. She used the fund to support her participation at the 2018 Annual Research Workshop in Terrigal. Susan shared her experience with the application process and attending an event with her family:
“Being a mother of three going to any event away from home can be very difficult as there are many factors that need to be taken into account. My two older kids are reasonably easy to look after so they can be left with my partner without any problems but I also have a 1-year-old who is still breastfeeding and relies on me for many things. I saw that the annual CBNS Research Workshop was coming up and thought “No, that would be too difficult to attend.” But then decided to look if there are any options to allow the care of my young child. The CBNS has a very family-friendly attitude and has a Carer’s Support Fund that is available to any staff or students that may require support for dependants, allowing them to attend conferences (or other work related to the CBNS). I applied for this scheme to allow my mum to look after my 1-year-old while I attended the CBNS Annual Research Workshop as it would not be possible to attend this meeting without the support of this scheme.
We travelled down to Sydney on Wednesday which was a day of torrential rain and storms affecting all flights – and of all days to travel (especially with an infant) we had so many delays but thanks to the amazing organisers of the conference we managed to get to the venue in Terrigal.
So after all of the initial delays my daughter, Ellie, got to spend some time with her Nanny who she hadn’t seen for quite some time. It was great that my mum could spend some time with her granddaughter while I could have peace of mind knowing that she would be cared for by someone I know. Ellie even managed to come to a few sessions when she needed some “mum time” which everyone was amazingly good about. Ellie was quite popular with many of the delegates!!
It was great to be able to attend this workshop. The only other CBNS workshop I have attended was the very first one – which was held in Lorne. I was pleased to see how far along the Centre has progressed. There was so much more collaborations within the groups both within their own universities but also within the whole centre.
There are so many great things happening within the Centre both scientifically and with all the outreach programs that are now in place. I am looking forward to seeing the progress that happens in the next couple of years and am really thankful for the opportunity that this fund provides.”
This text was provided by Dr Susan Nixon, UQ.