Everyone has a story. Humans of UniSA is a deep dive into the lives of our fellow students to unravel the threads of their personal history, quiet ambitions, and their hopes, worries, and joys. Take a fleeting glance into the vivid lives we pass by each day in the hallways and classrooms of UniSA.
“I want to work in an aged-care facility as an exercise physiologist. If I can that would be my dream. I’ve heard—it might just be little rumours—that it’s not very rewarding because you can’t force people to exercise and sometimes without strict adherence to exercise you might not see significant improvements. But I feel like I would love to see the little wins. Like how someone can be able to move freely and be able to go to the toilet and just do little things. And just seeing small improvements would be, I think, great for me.
My grandma. Well, she’s probably the most important woman in my life. She moved over from Hong Kong in 1995 because my grandpa from my mum’s side had a stroke and the medical care in Hong Kong isn’t the greatest. So she came over in 1995, I was born in 1999. Because my parents used to work—my mum used to work in a bank, and my dad used to work in the ATO and at our family restaurant—it was my grandma that essentially raised me. She’s what holds our house together because she cleans, she cooks, she grocery shops. She gives everything that she can possibly give to me. She used to buy me snacks all the time when I was really fat. Even when my dad would lock up his coke in his room because I wasn’t allowed to drink it, she would sneak out and buy a whole packet for me. My favourite thing about her? Probably the way she scratches my back. Still to this day, I ask for back scratches here and there but that just kind of shows how much she loves me. Like, I’m 21 and she still scratches my back.
Coming back to my grandpa who had a stroke, he went through a physio because EPs are only just starting up. He couldn’t—because he had a full stroke—do anything. And they helped him improve his mobility. He has a walking stick but he’s still independent, which I feel like is vital in life.
I went to EP because I love exercise but I wanted to be in something that could help elderly people.
Growing up, I played district basketball, footy, and tennis at a reasonably high level. I was really into them but I wasn’t really that gifted. I was pretty fat. Yeah, I really liked sports but I was always—I really had trouble regulating how much I would eat. So I was always disappointed with where I would be.
The gym? It’s quite a big part of my life. So I have a coach—he’s my online coach. I used to do personal training with him but it was like ‘oh, you’re paying $150 a week for three sessions.’ Granted, it’s still helped me so much in terms of learning. I wanted to get a sense of what a PT would do. Because in my field it’s similar to a PT with how they cue exercises and certain movements. I wanted to experience what that was like and I feel that was a very good way to spend my money, essentially.
I’m still scared of the dark but my greatest fear…
I don’t want people to look down on me or feel like I’m not good enough. Because I went through that whole period with my basketball and footy that I was just not like, athletically there. And I hated that feeling. My coach in basketball would be like ‘oh, you’ve been put down from div. 1 to div. 2’ and then I’d be in div. 2 and I wouldn’t be playing. And then in footy I’d not be playing at all. And I hate that. That’s why I guess I try so hard in trying to improve myself, trying to be the best me possible.
The last text I sent? Probably to my girlfriend. I told her I love her. Yeah, just before I came here.
I would have to say I look up to both my parents. My mum deals in cattle exportation. She’s worked very, very hard to get there. So essentially, she started in the letter room of ANZ and she worked all her way up to the branch manager and then she got headhunted to this other job. I look up to how hard she worked for that. Like, she absolutely grinded. She would come home sometimes at 8 o’clock from ANZ. As a branch manager you finish at 5.
In terms of my dad, he really is not the most affectionate person. But he shows his love in little, different ways and he can be really sweet and caring without showing too much emotion. I look up to how he knows what he wants. My dad knows what to do in any situation. That’s what I aspire to be like ‘just come to me, I can do anything for you.’ He still drives me to my basketball games. He’s great. He’s perfect.
My passion is, I’d like to say it’s—it might be corny but—I love to help people. Just helping people in any sort of way. And not in terms of exercise but just in terms of being a good friend and making sure people are happy around me. I feel like that is the most important thing in life.
Interview and photography by Anna Day