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Spencer Gulf students pioneer new Uni Hub

Published:06 August 2019

CLOCKWISE FROM TOP LEFT: Uni Hub Spencer Gulf director Moira Coffey with Jess Axon; Gabrielle Dunning and Justin Borland; and Ms Coffey with Pamella Brown.

A growing number of CQUniversity students have been powering ahead with their studies in the Port Pirie area, on the east coast of the Spencer Gulf, north of Adelaide.

The Uni Hub Spencer Gulf supports around 60 CQUni students and recently congratulated four high-fliers who each earned $1000 scholarships donated by an anonymous donor and the John Pirie Secondary School.

Scholarship recipient Pamella Brown has Enrolled Nurse qualifications so was able to start in the second year of CQUniversity's Bachelor of Nursing.

Ms Brown says the scholarship is valuable at a time when she is "head down and bum up" with her studies and scheduling of clinical placements and is working full-time as an EN. She also finds time to volunteer for a nearby ambulance service.

"I have another connection with CQUniversity through my school-age daughter Ayzia Arnold who has been getting high grades through the Start Uni Now (SUN) program," she says.

Another scholarship recipient, Justin Borland is enrolled in CQUniversity's STEPS preparatory program and the Diploma of Arts as he transitions into a Bachelor of Education (Secondary) degree.

Mr Borland is an Aboriginal education mentor and youth worker at the John Pirie Secondary School. The keen sportsperson also works for the South Australian Aboriginal Sports Training Academy.

"I have experience working in mentoring and counselling roles supporting Indigenous people and youth so I hope to continue that once I qualify for secondary teaching," he says.

"I would like to spend two to three years in the Aangu Pitjantjatjara Yankunytjatjara lands as a teacher."

Mr Borland says he would not be able to afford to travel to Adelaide for university "but the Uni Hub Spencer Gulf provides friendly support for my local studies".

Jessica Axon also welcomes her $1000 scholarship to support her Bachelor of Education (Early Childhood) studies with CQUniversity. She is currently on her 'practicum' placement with a local primary school.

"Partway through my bachelor degree I will be make the most of the embedded diploma to qualify to work in a childcare centre," she says.

"I visit the Uni Hub at least once a week and sometimes more and find the staff very helpful."

Scholarship recipient Gabrielle Dunning, who is an Enrolled Nurse at the local hospital, was inspired to study with CQUni to become a registered nurse by her mother and late grandmother, who both worked as RNs.

Uni Hub Spencer Gulf Director Moira Coffey said the facility is available to all students enrolled in tertiary studies or pathway programs, including CQUniversity students enrolled in Start Uni How (SUN), the preparatory STEPS program and undergraduate degrees.

“Feedback I have received from many of our students is that without the Uni Hub and without CQUniversity making its courses available here in the region, they would not have considered studying at a tertiary level,” she says.