Graduate inspired by her mum's determination after truck accident

Published:06 December 2018

TOP: Tiffany Brown celebrates graduation with her parents, David and Shirley. BELOW: Flanked by Hugh Grant and Bob Pleash - representing the Iwasaki Foundation which provided the Tertiary Education Bursary.

Tiffany Brown's family has faced financial challenges over the years but her mum's determination in life has been a constant source of inspiration.

"My mother Shirley was hit by a truck when she was six years old and left paralysed on one side," Tiffany says.

"She was told by doctors she could not do many things in her life, including have children, but her determination has shown me you can do anything if you’re passionate."

Tiffany's mum went on to have five children and the family has survived and thrived on a single income.

That's why Tiffany valued an Iwasaki Foundation Tertiary Education Bursary, worth $30 000 over three years, enabling her to complete a Bachelor of Environmental Science (Water Management) with Distinction.

"It was my childhood dream to study marine biology but I found jobs were limited in Australia so I looked more broadly," she says.

"The Iwasaki Bursary helped seal my decision to study locally once I found the opportunities with the Environmental Science degree.

"The Directors of the Iwasaki Bursary played a tremendous part in my graduating with Distinction.

"For those with no other financial support options, like myself, the balancing act between work and university is greatly increased and negatively impacts their potential.

"The Iwasaki Bursary relieves this financial stress, allowing students to devote 100 per cent of themselves into developing their future careers.

"So many people see the financial challenges of going to university as impassable. The Directors of Iwasaki Foundation recognise this challenge and offer a generous solution to those hardworking, financially disadvantaged students."

During Tiffany's degree, she had a taste of laboratory research into mango ripeness through CQUni's Rising Star program.

She's now working as a CQUni research assistant with a focus on helping coal mines with water quality assurance.

And she's arranged a summer scholarship to kickstart her Honours research to pinpoint where micro-plastics tend to float in the ocean - near the surface, in deeper water or near the bottom.

"I will be visiting Gladstone over summer to start field measurements using a plankton scoop in the harbour," Tiffany says.

"Knowing the location of micro-plastics is an important stage in cleaning them up."