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Ideas, Progress & the Future

UnCover video: Janine Deakin, on how the blips in her career got her to where she is today

We don’t have to be perfect to be great, says Professor Janine Deakin.

We just have to be brave enough to seize and create opportunities … and know that we’re worthy of them.

This International Women’s Day, the Executive Dean of the University of Canberra’s Faculty of Science and Technology shares her career story so far – from doing a Bachelor of Science degree and taking a while to do get that first job in science, to loving her PhD journey in immunology, genetics, microbiology … and pivoting on her research journey to learn new skills, only to get gazumped by a different research group.

After years of building a research career, Janine wanted to move out of the lab for her next step. “[For a while there] I found I was very successful at getting to the interview stage – but not actually landing the position,” Janine says.

“But in applying for those jobs, I discovered that I was competitive, so it was a good experience that way … I found I was on the right track, got great feedback and it helped me to continue on and to even apply for a future fellowship, the next step in my career.”

Janine eventually found herself at UC, spending three years as a research-focused Associate Professor before becoming Deputy Director and then Director at the Institute for Applied Ecology.

As two Centres emerged from the Institute, Janine became the Director for the Centre for Conservation, Ecology and Genomics – then went on to become Deputy Dean and now, Executive Dean.

“There have been challenges along the way in my career, but they were all well worth it in the end,” says Janine. “They got me to where I am.”

“The most important thing is – don’t wait. Make it happen, ask for the chance – create the opportunity for yourself.”

Words by Suzanne Lazaroo, video and photo by Tyler Cherry.

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