Josh Parker

21 | Marine Biology & Environmental Management

A little bit about me

I haven’t always lived in Perth. I was born in Sydney but moved to Bali as soon as I was old enough to fly. I lived there for 15 years.

It was an awesome childhood living there with my two brothers and becoming fluent in Indonesian. I went to an international school, played soccer, tennis, volleyball but most of all loved to be by the ocean, spending countless hours surfing and having fun with friends.

Bali was the place where I fell in love with the ocean. It is both beautiful and destructive and must be respected.

My way of thinking

My way of thinking can be summed up by a few ideas I live by:

  • Hard work and trying your best usually ends with great results.
  • Being passionate about something keeps you interested and motivated even in hard and stressful times.
  • If you don’t get it the first time, keep trying and you will figure it out.
  • It doesn’t matter if you fail, just learn from your mistakes

My experience of high school

I moved to Perth from Bali when I was 15 and went to boarding school. I enjoyed high school, I loved the subjects that I chose and I loved playing sport. After high school I really wanted to be a pro sportsman, either for rugby or surfing.

During high school there is pressure on you by the teachers to complete assignments and homework, but at university there is no one to remind you to do your work.

It’s hard to adjust, but when you complete an assignment on your own and to the best of your ability, it’s the greatest sense of pride and joy.

How I knew what I wanted to study

I had one experience in Bali which opened my mind to what I could study.  

I was surfing in Seminyak during the rainy season. On every stroke I paddled I was catching plastic bags, wrappers, straws and bottles.

Worst of all, dead fish were floating on the surface which was probably caused by the toxic chemicals or the low oxygen levels in the water. This is when I wanted to study something relating to the ocean which ultimately lead to marine biology/science.

I love Coral Bay

Being up in Coral Bay with good weather for 10 days has to be one of the best trips I have been on with uni.

Once my group had finished our field sampling, analysis and data inputs we had the freedom to go and do whatever we wanted. The camp we were staying in was a 5-minute walk from the beach and every evening as the sun was setting we would sit on the sand dunes, watching the sunset and reminisce on the day.

The supervisors that were on the trip were also very cool. They kept us on track but let us come up with our own sampling method and how we could analyse our data. I got a taste for what it would be like if this was my job, and I loved it.

It’s these experiences which make my uni experience. I don’t feel like I’m walking into a boring and dull institution. It feels like a place where I can free my mind, think and learn my way. Who wouldn’t want that?