Prize-winning graduate sets his sights on the political stage

Date: 25/10/2002

UWS Campbelltown Campus student Harry Cole might be what you'd call a late bloomer, but he's living proof that it's never too late to take up university study.

Not only did he recently graduate from the University of Western Sydney with a Bachelor of Arts (Honours) Politics, he was rewarded with a prestigious University medal for his outstanding efforts.

Harry came to University later in life after working as a fitter and welder in the Campbelltown area. While most people might have been apprehensive about attending lectures and completing assignments, he thrived in the academic environment.

Harry says it was his girlfriend Santwana who encouraged him to live out his dream.

"I was tired of what I was doing and it was Santwana, who was studying at the University at the time, who gave me the 'kick up the rear' that I needed and lodged my university application on my behalf," Harry says.

"In the end I just figured, 'why not?'. I didn't want to get to the end of my life and have regrets. It's important to take a chance and have a go.

"I chose the degree because I've always had an interest in politics and creating social change. It was a big culture shock coming to university but I enjoyed it immensely and found it to be a fantastic learning experience.

"I was lucky to get two lecturers, Dr Drew Cottle and Dr David Rollison, who really took an interest and encouraged me to do my best, even if they didn't always agree with what I was saying!"

Harry is now studying for his Graduate Diploma in Education at Macquarie University so he can teach and has long term plans to obtain a PhD.

And despite his loathing of politicians, he says he doesn't rule out a career in politics down the track.

"I think everybody should be involved in politics. It's everyone's duty and right to be involved in the political process," says Harry.

"If you don't get involved, you don't have a right to complain."

For more information or requests for interviews:
Amanda Whibley
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