First International Blockchain Student

Danielle Marie shares her story on how she became the first international student to complete the Advanced Diploma of Applied Blockchain and is interviewed by no less than Austin Lewinsmith, co-founder of Blockchain Collective.


When asked by Austin how she discovered blockchain, Danielle Marie narrates that, originally, her background was in hospitality and after 20 years in the industry she decided to reinvent herself and open a new chapter, leading her to Australia. At first, she stumbled around in the health and fitness industry as a Zumba instructor and personal trainer.

Danielle eventually started her first online business and learned a lot about the online world and the internet. However, the business wasn’t enough and became little more than supplementary income. Then, she was introduced to cryptocurrency and investing in bitcoin. Danielle decided to sell her online business to focus on learning more about blockchain and cryptocurrencies. Danielle went down the rabbit hole of learning about different cryptocurrencies, the difference between blockchain and crypto, and the history of all popular projects.

Danielle Marie eventually met Nathan Burns, another co-founder of Blockchain Collective at the end of 2019 at the Inaugural Blockchain Roadshow. Nathan introduced her to the accredited blockchain courses which were becoming available for CRICOS students which means international students like herself would be able to study blockchain on an Australian student visa, and she saw massive opportunities in blockchain education. 

Danielle had to wait four months before she could transfer from her accounting course to study the advanced diploma of blockchain. It was good timing because she enrolled in the advanced blockchain diploma course in March 2020, just as the pandemic was exploding around the world and Australia went into lockdown as a country. Despite the pandemic and lockdowns, she was able to take the course online. It took Danielle a year and a half to complete the whole course.


When asked if she enjoyed the course, Danielle answers that she enjoyed the learning experience in relating cryptocurrency to blockchain technology, and there was more to blockchain than just bitcoin. Danielle shared “Studying the course has given me a better understanding of how blockchain can be used for business and is going to disrupt business model and create whole new flows of value. We are going through the 4th industrial revolution and learning about emerging technologies such as IoT, AI, Machine Learning and blockchain is critical for the skills of the future”

Why study blockchain

Danielle wanted to learn more about the business applications of blockchain, for instance, how to create smart contracts and apply distributed leader technology to different business models to disrupt industries globally. Danielle Marie has always had a passion for educating others and quickly identified that there was a need for blockchain strategies in Australia and could be a potential pathway to skilled migration.

She also wants to train other people in applying blockchain strategies from a business perspective and applying other technologies. After all, blockchain as a ledger system is only as good as the data you put into it,  as they say, “garbage in garbage out”. How the information is put into the blockchain and how it is used to improve critical thinking of business models to innovate will determine the success of current and future business models. 


According to Danielle, it’s important to make people understand that you can’t just learn about blockchain applications through self-learning efforts like books and videos. You may learn the basics of cryptocurrency and blockchain ecosystem, but when it comes to applying blockchain to business models you need to be qualified in understanding the framework and learn how to apply everything in its proper perspective. Learning from an accredited blockchain course like the advanced diploma of applied blockchain teaches to build a business model for a project from start to end as the course is project-based. The students learn everything from blockchain language, smart contracts specifications, to applying traditional business model applications but disrupting it with technologies such as IoT devices and blockchain.

Blockchain for business

Blockchain is proving to be a good technological application because whether for financial or business applications, blockchain will always adjust and adapt to constant revisions and improvements of the business model. The same concepts, foundations, and frameworks will still be there, but when new and innovative ways are applied, very few changes are needed with the blockchain application.

Danielle says “Understanding how blockchain will affect different industries is important for those looking to upskill in their current career or are looking for a complete career change like myself. There is so much opportunity in the space and you do not have to be technical or even advanced in blockchain knowledge. Companies are hiring people based on their current skill set, who are willing to learn more about emerging technologies, you may have a background in marketing, event management, graphic design, or financial background looking to upskill in their current field.


When asked about opportunities, Danielle Marie was honest to answer that there has been such an abundance of opportunities in the crypto and blockchain industry. Currently, Danielle is passionate about blockchain education and is teaching people to become qualified blockchain strategist. In order to be able to teach at registered training organizations, Danielle was required to obtain a certification in training and assessing, known as a TAE. 

In addition to teaching blockchain at an accredited level, she’s is the key organiser for several meetup communities to deliver industry education and to grow the blockchain ecosystem in Australia. Danielle has founded a non-profit association called ALL THINGS BLOCKCHAIN in Nov 2020, which provides educational meetups and social networking events to bring the community together. ATB focuses on educating and engaging in discussions on everything about blockchain technology. The community was born with a vision to create the first decentralized meetup in Australia and they are on a mission to create an organisation that’s owned and coordinated by the community. Lastly, Danielle recently started She’s Blockchain Savvy, which provides free entry-level resources for people to learn the basics of crypto and blockchain technology.


Danielle advises people to take the Advanced Diploma of Applied Blockchain if they are looking for a new career or what to upskill themselves to future-proof their current careers. She recommends people should tap into local community groups and meetups that are into blockchain or visit TAFE websites or schools that are offering the Blockchain Collective diploma courses. International students should also do the same because the opportunities for blockchain diploma holders in other countries are tremendous, especially with AI, machine learning, and big data sectors.

About Blockchain Collective

Blockchain Collective is a leading education body that is partnered with TAFE Queensland and universities to serve the growing demand for qualified and skilled people in the application of blockchain and distributed ledger technology. 

The 10747NAT Advanced Diploma of Applied Blockchain and 10849NAT Diploma of Applied Blockchain was both designed and created by Blockchain Collective and are now being offered in TAFE accredited institutions. The courses are designed to equip graduates with the proper knowledge and experience to apply blockchain frameworks to different businesses and industries.

(Visited 196 times, 1 visits today)