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Tertiary Entry Program (TEP)

The Tertiary Entry Program (TEP) is an enabling program for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples to gain the skills, knowledge and confidence to undertake university study.

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Video Transcription

Interviewer: Nareeta just tell me your name, what you’re studying and what campus you’re located at.
Nareeta: My name is Nareeta Davis and I’m from the Cairns campus and I’m online distance student with the Bachelors of Laws.
Interviewer: Can you tell us about your CQU story.  What bought you to CQU to study with us?
Nareeta: I came to CQU later in life at the age of 35 because I had an amazing memorable experience, a personal and spiritual experience.  And with that being said, I felt really happy, complete to have the strength, determination, and persistence to undertake a law degree which I’ve always wanted to.  And now I can happily say I’m in my final term (hopefully).
Interviewer: Tell us about, what was that journey, tell us about, you know you talk about your childhood and how you finally got to his point, and when you were what, 35, so tell us a little bit about the journey that got you to the point where you thought ‘Actually I can go to CQU’.
Nareeta: Well I was raised in Townsville, raised by mum, and she did an awesome job, and at the age of 35, and I met some other family members.  And I was so at peace for meeting them that I felt really confident and I could see everything so clearly.  And at the age of 35 that I knew at that point on, I could finally do the law degree, and when I came home, I saw in a newspaper an advertisement from CQU encouraging people to enrol in a Bachelor of Laws.  And then following week I signed up to do the bridging course. And hence where I am now.
Interviewer: So with your family background, was university something you would ever have dreamed possible, that you would come and study with us?
Nareeta: My mum is an academic, and she’s a social worker, and so she was always pushing us to go do well at school.  But school for me was not a good experience and I absolutely detested it and hated it, and, I wasn’t academic and I lacked a lot of confidence.  But however like I said when I got much older, I gained that confidence, so while someone pushed me I rebelled against school.  And I never thought I’d be brainy enough and academic enough because I don’t think the teachers ever believed in me.  And most importantly I didn’t believe in myself.  And I realised now, back then, a few years ago, that you have to believe in yourself before anyone can believe in you.  You got to come from your own passion and desire and really follow through that dream.  And regardless what everyone says, and that’s how I got through it, and my kids watching me as well, has been a core thing for me not to give up.  And my husband’s support, and also the support university’s support has been outstanding.
Interviewer: Let’s talk about that now the contribution that the uni has made to you.  How much has CQU had impact on your life, and what have we done to support you through that journey?
Nareeta: Where do I start?  CQU I regard as my second family.  It’s really throughout my whole degree.  When I first started I was incredibly shy and timid and lacked a lot of confidence.  And throughout the years I’ve realised the lecturers have me throughout the law degree to really feel empowered and pushed you through those things you think ‘Oh my god I can’t do it’.  CQU have helped me grow spiritually, and mentally and academically.  The lecturers, the course coordinators, the support staff, the vice chancellor himself. And through that support is also me swallowing my pride and saying ‘you know what, I’m struggling, I need help’, and you know, if you admit to that, they will help you.  And I’ve been the recipient of three scholarships which I’m really excited about. And CQU have funded me to go to several different places throughout Queensland to go to significant law events.  So obviously that support has been shown to me that they believe in me, and that they see something special and amazing in every student.  And I guess I’m really stubborn, and that’s been a really great thing.  And with that being said, when they send me to all those different functions.  I’m incredibly scared, would you believe, to walk into a room and not knowing anyone.  Like even walking to the campus today I’m like ‘Oh my god I have no one’.  And I get really happy at the end of the day when I think I’ve pushed through that shyness and walk into a room and not knowing anyone.  And I guess by the time I’ve finished which is soon, I’ll be a really good solicitor practicing in the court room, because of that.
Interviewer: So what is that future? Where do you see yourself, if you envisage your life, even at retirement, where do you see yourself?
Nareeta: Um, really exciting, my children are 13 and 10, so soon, in a couple of years’ time, I guess they’ll be out of home.  And my daughter is already looking at the SUN program, which is really exciting. I want to continue to keep on helping the low-socioeconomic high schools in Cairns, keep on talking to them, encouraging the university, encouraging academic study.  That’s just something I really want to do.  And I will finish this year I hope, and I’ll enrol for a postgraduate diploma, and do my articles.  And my next graduation with Supreme Court, which her honour, Judge Willis said she be attending with me, which I’m really excited. And I look forward to practicing as a solicitor, and perhaps in the many years to come, I’ll have the confidence to be a barrister.
Interviewer: You heard me say before, about this is our 25th anniversary year. And we’ve talked a lot in the last 8 or 9 years about the renewal plan that we’ve put in place to be a strong university to a great university.  And we talk a lot, particularly from a staff’s point of view, that we truly believe that we are a great university.  I guess I want to ask you, first of all do you think we’re a great university? And if so, what is it that makes CQUniversity great?
Nareeta: Well, first of all CQU are amazing.  Are so supportive.  Incredibly compassionate, kind, caring, and sometimes quite hard, which is what you need, it can’t be all fluffy.  And the opportunities that have arisen employment wise, but also the friendships I’ve made, the contacts I’ve made. And I’ve realised, over the last year, regardless of an academics position, whether they are a doctor here or vice chancellor for that matter.  I email them and ask for help, and they don’t just fob me off like another sausage factory.  Every person, every student counts, and for that I’m forever grateful.  Because as a student you really try harder, and you’ll do anything, well I’ll do anything for the university  to promote it, because I can speak from my heart knowing that I know how great it is, because I’ve experienced it.  And each academic staff I’ve ever dealt with has talked to me or helped me as a human being not just as another student.
Interviewer: In a few words, describe CQU.  If you had one sentence to say to someone else ‘what is CQU’?
Nareeta: CQU, for me, and how I would describe it, is an avenue to build you spiritually, emotionally, and academically into a brand new person. And no matter whatever path, or whatever background, race, socioeconomic level you are, if you want to call it that way, it doesn’t matter.  Because they just take you as and help you on your journey.  Thankyou.


The TEP course involves studying units that embrace an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander focus to prepare you for successful participation in university study.


As a TEP student, you’ll participate in learning experiences that are culturally and personally affirming. TEP offers you the flexibility to study by online either part time or full time. Plus, you’ll have access to friendly and helpful support that will assist you in successfully completing your studies.


TEP is free of tuition fees; however, there are associated costs with stationery, photocopying and printing.


The TEP course is a Centrelink approved course. You may be eligible for various forms of financial support while undertaking the course. For more information, call Centrelink on 1800 132 317 or visit

As a TEP student, you can apply for scholarships to assist with the financial cost of study.


TEP is delivered by online (online education), so you can study from anywhere in Australia. All that is required is access to a computer and the Internet.


Residential school attendance is a compulsory requirement for TEP. Residential schools require you to attend a designated campus for up to five days to undertake group work, lecturers, tutorials, presentations and individual tuition.

For more information regarding residential school attendance, please email or phone 1800 651 891.


The Indigenous Advancement Strategy (IAS) provides funding to engage Learning Advisors to tutor Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students in many approved units throughout the course of their study. Depending on the units you choose to study within TEP, you may be eligible to receive tutoring as part of the IAS.

If you would like to request tutoring, or for further information, please contact CQUniversity on (07) 4930 9250 or email


In TEP, we tailor your learning to suit your career aspirations in undergraduate study and there are a wide range of study areas to choose from. Plus, you may have the option to study some units from within our Skills for Tertiary Education Preparatory Studies (STEPS) course via cross enrolment. There are introductory units, more advanced units, Indigenous-specific units, and specialised units in mathematics, the sciences, computing and academic writing. The units available are listed below.
You will complete two core units:

»  Culture and Learning
»  Independent Learning.

In addition, you will complete four electives from the following list. The electives you complete will depend on the course you intend to study after completing TEP:

»Indigenous Australians and Education
»Indigenous Australians and Health
»Indigenous Australians: Business and Economy
»Indigenous Australians: The Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences
»Introduction to Law in Australia
»Preparation Skills for University
»Introductory Biology
»Introductory Chemistry
»Computing Skills for University
»Essay Writing for University
»Technical Writing for University
»Fundamental Mathematics for University
»Intermediate Mathematics for University
»Technical Mathematics for University
»Introductory Physics
»Foundation Science
»Positive Learning for University.


You will receive a Certificate of Completion for the TEP course, which will allow you to apply for entry to a CQUniversity diploma or degree through the CQUniversity direct entry process (for those courses where direct entry is available).

In addition, you will be given a Tertiary Entry Rank (TER). This will allow you to apply through the Queensland Tertiary Admissions Centre (QTAC) or relevant tertiary admissions centres for courses at institutions where direct entry is not available.


Term 1 – March
Term 2 – July
Term 3 – November


1.To enrol in TEP, you can either apply online or download and submit a
a TEP application form.
If downloading the form, submit your completed application as per the instructions on the form. If completing your application online visit the link and follow the instructions online. We will then send you information about the TEP diagnostic entrance assessment.
2.Complete the diagnostic entrance assessment for literacy, numeracy and computing competence.
3.Once we receive your online assessment, we will contact you to arrange a one-on-one interview to finalise your application.


For more information on our TEP course please contact CQUniversity on 1800 651 891 or email