Nigerian-born Eunice Osasona tried a few different health-related fields before discovering her passion lay in the mental health space.

What makes Eunice Osasona so good at her job is that she has a great amount of compassion for others.

She puts her heart and soul into her work with troubled youth and feels tremendous reward knowing she is making a difference in their lives.

Originally from Nigeria, Eunice was working as a medical laboratory technician when she decided to move to Australia to study nursing.

While completing a placement as part of her nursing diploma, Eunice discovered her true calling might be in mental health.

“When I went into mental health placement, at first I was devastated and I nearly lost it,” she says. “Later I realised I might have been triggered due to my trauma in the past. I think it takes someone who has experienced such situations to understand what others are dealing with and realise the need to help them.”

Eunice enrolled in a Bachelor of Community Mental Health, Alcohol and Other Drugs through Chisholm and absolutely thrived.

She was a standout student – so much so that she received an academic award and scholarship in 2019.

Eunice was also nominated as International Student of the Year and Higher Education Student of the Year at the 2022 Chisholm Education Awards.

“I chose Chisholm because of the way they care for their international students,” says Eunice. “International students are often coming from another language; culture and background and they might not be with their family or experience homesickness at times. Chisholm really accommodates international students and there’s a lot of support available for them to feel more comfortable in a faraway land.”

When Eunice experienced a personal tragedy while studying, she was overwhelmed by the kindness of the Chisholm staff.

“In 2019 when I lost my dad, I was so traumatised to the extent that I went to my course co-ordinator to tell her I wanted to quit the course,” says Eunice. “She acknowledged I was going through a lot, but encouraged me not to quit. She referred me to counselling services and to the international department and they never let me lack anything. Even my teachers were so incredible – they always went out of their way to support me.”

After completing her studies, Eunice helped instigate a placement at YSAS (Youth Support and Advocacy Service) through a family friend, and the team there fell in love with her.

She is now working to support young people withdrawing from substance and could not be happier.

“Sometimes we go out to the community for therapeutic distraction for the young people, we do things like art therapy and drug education,” says Eunice. “It’s a fun job, but at the same time it can be full-on, depending on what the young person is going through. I love the fact that I can help and make a difference in their lives.”