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Students with a disability connect with educational pathways

Published:04 November 2019

Mackay North State High School students Trent Hempson (top left), Roxxane Mighall, Samuel Maher (bottom left) and Shanae Lambertus pictured at the 2019 Mackay ConnectAbility event.

CQUniversity’s Mackay Ooralea campus recently played host to 51 Year 11 and 12 students with a disability from across the region, as part of the second-annual ConnectAbility event.

The students, from Mackay Northern Beaches, Mackay, Mackay North, Pioneer, Mirani, and Moranbah State High Schools, participated in training and tertiary education experiences and were introduced to a range of CQUniversity support services.

“This year’s event had a creative focus, offering students real-life learning experiences across a range of discipline areas,” said CQUniversity Accessibility and Engagement Officer, Rhiannon Dooley.

“Students interested in performing arts were given a guided tour of CQUniversity’s Central Queensland Conservatorium of Music, before putting their skills to the test on the big stage.

“Meanwhile, the electric guitar came out in the interactive music session as interested students learned how to compose their own music using digital technology.

“Another highlight included the Student Panel, where current CQUniversity students with a disability talked about their study experiences and the support they received from different services."

Local school staff and parents who attended spoke highly of the event and the importance of helping young people explore their post-school study options.

“This program was very appropriate for our students," said Moranbah State High School Teacher, Emily Milne.

"We really appreciate the University's communication and support for our school students as it gives them other options outside of the rural community."

While Mackay State High School parent, Kim Anderson said the whole day was very well organised and went smoothly. "The students were on the go most of the day!”

ConnectAbility was delivered by CQUniversity Mackay, in partnership with Mackay Regional Transition Network and the National Disability Coordination Officer Program.

Schools interested in taking part in future ConnectAbility events at CQUniversity are encouraged to email accessibility@cqu.edu.au or phone 07 4930 9456.