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Tuesday, March 26, 2013


Reprinted from

As an only child, Natasha Mortley had a very vivid imagination.

She saw herself skirting the double role of lawyer and model; a legal catwalk apparently. But that was just a bright little girl entertaining herself in the absence of other siblings. She was not lonely though – her Sans Souci home-ground was teeming with friendly neighbours and childhood friends.

“So although I had no brothers, sisters or cousins at home, I did have many friends. I have always been a ring leader, never been a follower and that applied to both home and school. Some would say I was very a “ana-faire” child.”

Natasha attended Canon Laurie Anglican, St. Joseph’s Convent and finally A Level College. As she grew older, she says she relinquished the idea of modelling but still had a desire to pursue the legal profession. That lingering dream didn’t quite work out. But from an early age, Mortley knew she was headed for higher learning.

“My grand dad was a school master and he instilled the value of education in me from very, very early. I got a government scholarship and went to UWI, St Augustine Trinidad to pursue my BSc in Sociology. I decided to go to Trinidad because I didn’t want to be too far away from home.  I chose Sociology because I loved the subject and thought it would be a great start and foundation for doing Law.   Once I completed that degree, I knew I had to move on to the next and the next and so I found that I wasn’t quite ready to return home until I had gone all the way.”

Life at university was one of balance. “I partied hard, was involved in several clubs and University activities and I studied hard. I was President of The Dance Theatre, President of the St. Lucian Students Association in T&T and Faculty Representative for my faculty. I was part of the movement and first ever UWI Carnival at St Augustine.”

Dr. Mortley’s specialty is International Development. Her decision to go into this area was prompted by her own recognition at the time, that it, was the hot topic in the Sociology dialogue and high up on the agenda of all developing country governments. She thought that by specializing in International Development, she could become a government consultant.

It was at that point she decided that maybe the study of Law could be put on hold for the time being.

The rest, as the saying goes is history. Mortley is currently a Research Fellow at UWI Mona. She manages a project on building capacity for global health research. The project is funded by the International Development Research Centre, Canada and is based at Mona. The good doctor also finds time to do some lecturing in Sociology and Research Methods.

She is a published author, having written the book “St. Lucian Women On The Move”.

“St Lucian Women on The Move was my MPhil thesis. I was approached by a publisher in Europe to publish it as a book and so I did. You will find therefore that the book is very academic in nature.”

To date, Dr. Mortley says her greatest achievement is her attainment of her doctorate.  ”A very close second would be my being one of the top five finalists at the Global Development Network Awards for Research in Prague in 2010. I was the only finalist from the Caribbean.”

She gets to come home at least twice year, but the prohibitive cost of travelling out of Jamaica to St. Lucia is what prevents more frequent visits to the island. A permanent stay in her homeland would be a desired situation but she feels the timing is not quite right. “There are still many things that I want to accomplish and to do before returning home. When I return home I want to be able to give of my very best to my country and also to work for myself.”

So what does a doctor at the top of her class do in her spare time? “Dance, read, and carnival which I love. I also enjoy dining out with my small circle of very good friends. I also maintain an online book club and a blog on “Dos and Don’t s both of which are quite vibrant and fun.”

OLT Digital

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