Working Full-Time, Studying Law, Alone…and Still Positive!

Nyul Nyul woman, full-time DPC staffer and law student Niamh Whitford talks to CMR about her strategies to help manage isolation.

Working Full-Time, Studying Law, Alone…and Still Positive!

Posted by: Charles Pakana
Posted: 26 August 2020


Click on the play button above to listen to the full interview [HIGHLY recommended]


For 23-year old Niamh Whitford, a Nyul Nyul woman living alone and in Stage 4 isolation in Melbourne, it’s a tough gig – just as it is for most Melburnians.

Working (remotely) full-time at the Department of Premier and Cabinet, her family living in Western Australia on Noongar country, and – on top of that – studying law at Melbourne University Law School, Niamh took time out to speak with Connection Matters Radio (CMR) about her survival techniques.

“Living alone] is a big change after living in shared houses for the past three or four years,” she said. “It’s wonderful in some ways…but there are mornings when I wake up and think: ‘There’s no-one I can see today if I don’t leave my own house.’ So it’s been a very steep learning curve.”


“I drank a glass of water”

A daily ritual for Niamh is speaking with her parents on the phone.

“I just talk out my day [with them], regardless of whether something was good or bad – even if nothing happened – it could be ‘Well, I drank a glass of water…

“It’s about making sure I’m speaking and being heard,” Niamh told CMR. “One of my most fundamental beliefs is that everybody needs to be heard; and that’s something that’s carried through so much more in this pandemic.

“So many people are starting to withdraw [so as not, they feel] to be a burden. It’s fantastic to continue to listen to other people and be listened to.”


Crafting during lectures

Beyond talking to her family every day and, Melbourne weather permitting, walking along the nearby Merri Creek, Niamh has taken to weaving a rug for her living room…even during online lectures.

“While I’m catching up with my [online] university lectures, I like to keep my hands busy… so I do that when I’m listening to lectures or even a podcast,” Niamh said.

MUCH more in the interview (above) – This is definitely an interview everyone should listen to [Charles]



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