With a passion for food and education – and with more than a bit of determination on her journey – Regina Wilson is living her dream in an industry she loves.
The 49-year-old has lived in Ballarat her whole life, studying at Loreto College before going on to an Advanced Certificate of Hospitality and a Diploma Certificate of Hospitality.
Regina continued her educational journey through a tourism course to become a travel agent in Melbourne and Ballarat before taking some time off to have a family.
She decided to return to study as a mature-aged student and single parent, selecting a Certificate IV in Food Science at Federation University. The pressure of raising her children, Joshua and Hannah, and juggling work, meant she could not complete the course.
However, her passion for education and food meant that this would not be the end of her journey.
“I have always been interested in working with food.”
Regina was also motivated by her family and wanted to set her children up for a life with options. Being a single parent has been a driving factor behind Regina’s push to succeed.
“I wanted to give my children the same opportunities I had as a child.”
Regina was later encouraged to study again, taking up a Bachelor of Applied Science in Food and Technology, which she did go on to complete.
She found some of the subjects challenging but could get through the content with extra assistance from her teachers.
She learnt valuable skills while studying, including organisation, working as a team with a wide range of people, computer skills, problem solving and effective communication.
“I found it challenging, but with determination, I completed my degree in four years.”
After completing her degree, she picked up a job as a laboratory technician at Hazeldenes in Bendigo before becoming a microbiologist.
Regina is now working at Ballarat’s St Patrick’s College as a laboratory technician, setting up science practicals for the students.
“I never thought I would end up in a school environment. I was always looking in the food industry based on my qualifications.”
As for the future, Regina wants to continue her learning.
“I want to build and learn more about chemistry in my role now and be the best school lab tech I can be.”