Crystallee becomes first student to complete a Diploma of Community Services

Published:12 September 2018

Crystallee Lord has become the first student to complete a Diploma of Community Services with CQUniversity. She is now able to use her childhood experiences to help create strong foundations for today's young people.

Crystallee Lord has become the first student to complete a Diploma of Community Services with CQUniversity.

Ms Lord said she was always determined to use the difficult experiences she sometimes faced as a child to help create strong foundations for today’s young people.

“Initially, I was drawn to a career in the justice system because I always believed in a person’s ability to change. But, I quickly became disheartened by the high rate of re-offending and lack of intervention programs,” she said.

“Therefore, I took some time to travel and explore in the hope I would find my purpose. I volunteered with children and young people, both domestically and internationally, which allowed me to understand their need for a supportive and empowering adult in their lives.

“It was clear that improvements to the system were needed for the betterment of youth in care. So, after completing a Certificate IV in Youth Work, I enrolled in a Diploma of Community Services with CQUniversity.”

Ms Lord said she was proud of her academic achievements, given the course was only introduced in 2017.

“It’s nice to know that my level of commitment to the course has paid off,” she said.

“Throughout my studies, I worked as a Residential Care Worker for children and young people in out-of-home care, so organisation was key.

“I used a planner and scheduled everything I could. I committed to a set amount of study hours per week, which was important because life does happen.

“Also, I am lucky to have such a supportive partner who not only encouraged me to pursue further studies, but also happens to be a great cook, so I was able to maintain my nutritional needs.”

Ms Lord said the qualification had helped expend her skillset and enticed her to work in other areas of the community services sector.

“Once I completed the qualification, I was determined to help support individuals with disabilities or mental health issues,” she said.

“I have recently taken on a new challenge as a Personal Care Assistant within the disability sector. I am excited and nervous all at the same time about working with different clientele.

“In five years’ time, I hope to be a registered Social Worker, working the cases of those who are most in need of assistance within our community. Also, I want to work towards managing some community programs, either domestically or internationally, like women’s empowerment or youth engagement.”

Ms Lord said she encouraged prospective students to pursue their academic goals.

“What are you waiting for? – enrol! The course is affordable and flexible. It will help you develop your leadership skills and give you a qualification which could potentially lead to a promotion, or help you pursue further tertiary education, like me.”

Ms Lord hopes to attend the CQUniversity Brisbane graduation ceremony in December.