Hayley born for success with international women's scholarship

Published:12 September 2018

Top: CQUni Mackay Bachelor of Digital Media student Hayley Sumpter was awarded the Emily Thomas Memorial Scholarship by the ESA Foundation. Hayley is pictured with her parents Debbie (in front, left) and Mark Sumpter (right). Below: Professor Pierre Viljoen and ESA State President Daphne Neilsen congratulate CQUni student Hayley Sumpter on her $1000 award.

The international women’s foundation Epsilon Sigma Alpha (ESA) has awarded CQUni student Hayley Sumpter with a scholarship towards her Bachelor of Digital Media studies.

ESA State President Daphne Neilsen said Hayley was the third CQUni Mackay student recognised with the prestigious Emily Thomas Memorial Scholarship ($1000) since its 1997 inception.

“ESA International offers many scholarships and grants each year for students to enable them to further their studies after leaving secondary school; and it’s also a very great pleasure to be able to pass this scholarship on to Hayley – who is also one of our very own devoted members,” Daphne said.

As a lifelong member of the Mackay chapter, Hayley doesn’t actually recall her first ESA meeting, although her mother Debbie does.

“Hayley was only four months old and in my arms when we attended our first ESA meeting together,” Debbie recalled.

“I joined to make friends and give back to my community and, in doing so, Hayley has enjoyed the ESA network alongside me,” she said.

Hayley said her fellow members were ‘like family’.

“I’ve fundraised alongside the ESA now for 20 years, but I never expected to be awarded a scholarship to encourage me with my tertiary studies – this is a real honour,” Hayley said.

Now in her third year of study, Hayley is putting her Digital Media skills to use teaching her fellow ESA members (most of whom are aged 60 years and over) how to use iPhones and computers and how to save and send photos.

“We used to produce an annual scrapbook of photos from throughout the year, but now Hayley helps us create a digital version that we store on a USB; we are all very fortunate to be able to learn from Hayley’s university teachings,” Daphne said.

ESA is dedicated to the promotion of continuing education and to altruistic activities that make a positive difference in the world community.

For more information on the foundation and its annual scholarships, visit