UQ science student making waves on international stage

19 May 2023
Phoebe with a friend
Phoebe (left) at the 2023 NSW State Championships. Supplied

Phoebe Robinson’s dual dream has always been to compete at the international level in rowing, while pursuing a rewarding career in the field of agriculture.

The Bachelor of Agribusiness student at The University of Queensland has been competing in Australian rowing teams for 10 years but said her feeling of pride never fades.

“No matter how many times I’m selected to represent Australia, it never truly settles in,” Ms Robinson said.

“The honour of putting on the Australian colours and racing the world’s absolute best of the best is why I wake up at 4am every morning with the same dedication day in, day out.”

Her next taste of international competition will be as part of the under-23 Australian team on tour in Bulgaria later this year.

“It will be a great challenge over there, but we’re all looking forward to it,” Ms Robinson said.

Phoebe and the rowing team
Phoebe (second from left) in her first showing for Australia. Supplied

“I’m also really excited about the opportunity I’ll have to establish friendships and connections – and so far, it’s this element that I’ve held closest to my heart upon reflection.

“The opportunities rowing has given me are endless and I have been so fortunate to travel to America, Europe, Asia, and across Australia doing something I love.

“Beyond this year, I have my sights set squarely on representing Australia at the 2024 Paris Olympics.”

On the other side of the coin, Ms Robinson is chasing her second passion: a career in agriculture.

“Agriculture has always been my dream and I knew I wanted to pursue it with UQ at Gatton,” she said.

“Along with the hands-on learning experiences and great professors that are offered at UQ, I fell in love with the students around me.

“I’ve been able to grow as a person, in a field of work that I knew nothing about.

Phoebe on a horse, mustering
Phoebe explores her other passion, mustering in Cloncurry. Supplied

“Pursuing agriculture was always going to be a challenge and I knew that I needed somewhere that was willing to teach me quite literally everything I needed to know – UQ has been that place.

“The reason I love the agriculture industry so much is because the opportunities are endless, and I get to be part of such an inspiring, diverse, knowledgeable, enthusiastic, and caring industry.

“So, one day I’d love to run and own my own property, but before that I’d really like to explore the many different avenues on offer, such as live export, trading, and sustainability.”

Juggling study with her rowing commitments is a delicate balancing act, and Ms Robsinson said her experiences as a professional sportsperson have taught her how to effectively manage her studies.

“Having prioritised rowing in my time at UQ, I have found that my attitude towards my study reflects the same dedication and commitment I show in my rowing pathway,” she said.

“Without my sport, I would be a completely different person when it comes to studying, and the sacrifices I make to achieve my rowing goals means my time to study is limited.

“This forces me to be more efficient and effective with my time.”