Jonah Duperouzel with friends outside Watson Hall

Jonah now a teacher-to-be

Wednesday, August 17, 2022
Brenton Stacey

Brenton Stacey

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Brenton is Avondale University’s Public Relations and Philanthropy Officer. He brings to the role experience as a communicator in publishing, media relations, public relations, radio and television, mostly within the Seventh-day Adventist Church in the South Pacific and its entities.

Friends become classmates after study switch to Avondale

Encouragement to follow a call, good friends and personalised care. These are the factors that encouraged Jonah Duperouzel to switch from living at Avondale but studying elsewhere to living and studying at Avondale.

Jonah moved into Watson Hall on our Lake Macquarie campus at the beginning of the year after enrolling in an exercise and sports science degree at The University of Newcastle. With accommodation in the city at a premium, brother Jesse, an off-campus student, suggested applying for a room in the men’s residence at Avondale, “and I thought, Yeah, why not.”

The decision to live on campus proved a good one. Jonah played basketball and turbo touch. He found the spiritual support strengthened faith. And he had easy—and seemingly instant—access to a social life. But leaving campus to study became a chore.

Jonah wanted to build on the Certificate IV in Fitness he completed back home in Adelaide. He spoke to one of his lecturers at Newcastle about the odds of becoming a strength and conditioning coach, “and he said experience in the workplace is just as important. I said, ‘So, why am I studying this course?’” The conversation confirmed something Jonah had been thinking about for a while: a switch to teaching.

He remembers helping his nieces and nephews learn to ride motorbikes because “the moment they understood how it worked . . . .” Jonah looks for stronger words by recalling a statement from one of his lecturers at Avondale. “He told us he loved seeing that spark in a child’s eye. When he said that, I was like, I’m in the right place now. I wanted to see the spark, too.” Jonah’s now studying a Bachelor of Teaching (Secondary) majoring in physical education and industrial technology.

Jesse knew Jonah would make the switch. “He said before I moved, ‘Mate, I guarantee you’re going to be a teacher.” So did a high school mentor who pulled Jonah aside after class. “I was mucking around and he sat me down and said, ‘I see you coming back. You’ve got a lot to teach these kids.”

Making the switch has been “breezy,” with lecturers and the team from Student Finance Services helping sort enrolment and meal packages. “This is a good community. The support I’ve received has given me the confidence to give teaching a real hot crack.”

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