Ciara Duffy (2011) Inspires Year 12 Students

It was really amazing to listen to Ciara Duffy’s personal journey and how it fuelled her passion in the study of science and, specifically, human biology.

Our Year 12 Human Biology class felt a sense of relief when we realised that Ciara was at first certain that she wanted to study medicine, yet after experiencing obstacles, she discovered a new passion in the area of medical research.

Ciara undertook a Bachelor of Science with a double major in Anatomy and Human Biology/Physiology at the University of Western Australia. She then went on to do her honours in Anatomy and Human Biology. Finding inspiration from her mother’s battle with cancer, she chose to work with senior scientists in studying the effects of honey bee venom on breast cancer cells.

Ciara’s discussion of her research was fascinating, and also emotional. She described the first time she realised the honeybee venom could actually provide a treatment for breast cancer. She went on to undertake her Ph.D. through the School of Human Sciences. This allowed her to continue her research, collecting further data, and gathering the venom from bumble bees and honey bees from all around the world.

It was obvious Ciara was incredibly passionate about her studies and refreshingly hopeful for the future of medical research. It was really valuable for us as Year 12 students to comprehend how Ciara overcame the adversity she faced, with her mother being diagnosed with breast cancer. In coping with this difficult news, whilst completing her second year of university, her circumstances became a reason for her to prosper in her chosen university field.

Ciara’s talk ultimately emphasised how our own circumstances and work ethic can enable us to discover a passion in our lives and possibly even encourage further study in that area.

Natasha Stevens and Steph Haines , Year 12

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From a gap year adventure in California to working alongside Hollywood stars in Western Australia’s thriving screen industry, Alexa Teixeira’s journey has been nothing short of extraordinary. Graduating from Santa Maria College in 2015, Alexa deferred her sports science degree to explore a newfound passion for filmmaking. Her experiences, from Warner Brothers Studio tours to assisting renowned actors like Daisy Ridley, highlight a remarkable career shaped by spontaneous decisions and a deep love for the arts.

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