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Hard work pays off for tireless UC student

Antony Perry

25 October 2017: It’s easier said than done, but outperforming is a hallmark Valerie Jurica has in spades and it hasn’t gone unnoticed.

Ms Jurica has been awarded the Multiplex Building and Construction Scholarship in recognition of her ability to go the extra mile. She received $5,000 for her efforts from the global construction contractor.

The Multiplex Building and Construction Scholarship is a one-off award presented to a student studying building and construction management at the University of Canberra who has outperformed in an area of their life.

For most, raising two children and working full-time would be enough, but not for Ms Jurica.

The 37-year-old added a full-time study load to her list of responsibilities this year when she began a Bachelor of Building and Construction Management at the University.

And when you add in the recent completion of a knockdown rebuild of her family home, Ms Jurica’s ability to juggle multiple tasks becomes that little bit more enviable.

She admits living life in the fast lane isn’t always easy, but she wouldn’t have it any other way.

“I have multiple demands both personally and professionally, but I have a passion for learning and a desire to stretch my skills and abilities,” Ms Jurica said.

“I want to be successful in life and that doesn’t come without hard work.”

Ms Jurica is studying for the second time at the University of Canberra, having graduated in 2011 with a Bachelor of Commerce.

She now works at the Department of Finance in a role focused on driving efficiency in leasing arrangements across the Commonwealth’s property portfolio, but hopes studying again will open up more pathways.

“I am particularly interested in developing my skills in the building and construction field and one day hope to be working in the industry as a project manager,” she said.

The Multiplex Building and Construction Scholarship is the latest in a series of initiatives driven by Multiplex, the head contractor building the University of Canberra Public Hospital, to engage with the University.

Other activities have included masterclasses on campus and the UCPH cadetship program, in which four University of Canberra students have helped build the new hospital from the ground up.

Multiplex project manager Allan Young said his team identified the hospital project as a learning opportunity for students and wanted to engage with the University while working on the site.

“One of our goals when we undertake any new project is to form partnerships with the local community or local stakeholders and provide something extra during the building project process,” Mr Young said.

“We think of it as linking industry with community. We see the process of constructing the University of Canberra Public Hospital on university land as an extension of the campus and the learning environment.”

Mr Young said Ms Jurica’s tireless work ethic and desire to go over and above were what made her stand out from the pool of applicants.

“We were very impressed by Valerie’s ability to successfully juggle a demanding workload,” he said. “She embodies everything we’re about at Multiplex and we felt it necessary to reward that.”

The University of Canberra Public Hospital will open to the public in mid-2018.