Three CQUniversity Bundaberg students are learning to navigate along new paths to success during COVID-19 and online study, after being named Destination Australia Scholarship recipients.
Destination Australia is an Australian Government funded scholarship program designed to support students to study in a regional area, with successful recipients receiving $15 000 per year of study.
Bachelor of Engineering (Honours) first-year students Brooklyn Davis, Benjamin Otto and Macson Cottle were the scholars named for Term 1 and all three are excited at the possibilities, despite having to adapt to online study during their first term at university.
“This scholarship has immensely helped me during COVID-19, allowing me to support myself with my everyday needs. When I lost some of my work shifts, it was a relief knowing I had my scholarship, allowing me to keep focusing on my studies,” Brooklyn said.
“Moving from high school into university, I always had that worry of not being able to financially support myself. But with this scholarship, I feel that I will truly be able to achieve my dream. With such a large part of my studies funded each year, I am able to place all my focus on my studies and have the ability to push myself to accomplish everything that comes my way.”
“I am very keen to get back to in-person classes when things go back to normal. I definitely miss the classroom environment and learning surrounded by others. It's not something people really think of, but I have definitely taken it for granted in the past and will be happy to see my fellow classmates and teachers.”
Benjamin said the scholarship had helped him realise the dream of going to university.
“I am not from a wealthy family, so it has been a great boon and honour to have this scholarship for my economic situation as I have to still balance work with my new studies,” he said.
“I am excited (at the prospect of going) back to studying in person, but I am enjoying the personal time the online study has brought me as well. The only major downside I feel is the lacking amount of interaction between people during online studies. I am looking forward to meeting my classmates again.”
Macson thanked CQU and Destination Australia for the scholarship.
“This Destination Australia scholarship has helped me in areas such as my studies and daily life. This extra money has allowed me to worry less about my financial status with paying bills and for food and is allowing me to concentrate more on my studies,” he said.
“This scholarship money is also paying for my textbooks for each term so I can get the most out of my classes.”
He said the funds will also go towards paying off his HECS debt.
“I am really looking forward to resuming normal classes on campus for both the social aspects and the fact that I learn better face-to-face,” he said.
CQU Associate Vice-President (Wide Bay Burnett and Gladstone region) Luke Sinclair said, “scholarships and financial assistance are essential in ensuring many of our students can continue their studies.”
“We’re pleased that the Destination Australia Scholarships awarded earlier this year to students, including Brooklyn, Macson and Benjamin, are making a big difference and allowing them to focus more on their studies, especially during these tough times,” he said.
The CQUniCares Scholarship program changes lives and CQU are grateful to partner with individuals, organisations, community groups and Government agencies who share our passion for making a difference in the lives of our students, their families and our communities.
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