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Never giving up the key to Saalik’s success

Tuesday 15 December 2020

Determined Saalik Kalaniya was not going to let COVID-19 get in his way of pursuing his medicine dream.

Cicilia Begbia

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The 18-year-old IQRA College student stayed on track with his assignments by regularly sending drafts through to his teacher Helen Bhatia for feedback.

Saalik studied Stage 2 Biology, Chemistry, English, Mathematical Methods, and the Research Project. 

“COVID was a really big change for me. When COVID hit I had to work online for three weeks and that really affected me, I had to adapt to online study with no teachers or my friends, and my grades slacked,” Saalik said. 

“Doing assessment tasks at home really affected me, but I pushed through and I was determined to get them done, and I sent them to Miss Bhatia for regular feedback.

“COVID has taught me that life is never going to be simple, but I’ve learned that there is more than one way to learn. My ICT skills have improved and I’ve learned how to use Zoom and Microsoft Teams.”

Saalik emigrated to South Australia from Bombay, India, when he was six, but he found adjusting to his new life challenging.

“Moving to Australia was quite a change for me. When we moved to Australia we didn’t have very much, we started from the bare bones,” he said. 

“I worked on getting new friends at my new school, but I found school a battle. I was trying to understand the Australian culture and their sense of humour.

“Australia was very peaceful compared to India. In India, there are lots of car horns beeping and lots of people but in Australia there aren’t so many people and it’s very peaceful.”

Saalik believes that the SACE has developed him as a person and set him up for his next pathway into medicine.

“When I started Year 10 my English and Maths were not very good, but the SACE has really helped me develop my literacy and numeracy capabilities, with support from my teachers and peers.

“Before the SACE, my social skills were very poor and I didn’t get along with a lot of people. I was very selective with my friends. But the SACE has really helped me develop my social skills.

“I was always taught to give more than you take. Australian society has accepted me as one of their own, and getting into medicine will be my way of giving back to the Australian community.”