Scholarship helps Carolyn pursue her studies – and passion - for social justice

Published:06 May 2020

CQUniCares GWI Scholarship recipient Carolyn Bailey.

Carolyn Bailey’s determination to not let her disability hold her back from becoming a youth social justice advocate, has helped earn her a valuable CQUniCares GWI Scholarship to continue her studies at CQUniversity.

As a single parent with a disability, caring for a young son in Redcliffe, Carolyn found focusing on her Bachelor of Social Work (Honours) studies challenging, so her scholarship came along at the right time.

“I feel grateful and very appreciative to have been chosen as a successful recipient of the CQUniCares GWI Scholarship,” she said.

The new scholarship, awarded by Brisbane-based information technology consultancy firm, GWI, is valued at $5000, with two CQUniversity students receiving the scholarship each year. The total partnership is valued at $40 000 and will provide support to eight students over the next four years.

“The scholarship will go towards necessary school items and the necessities I need to be able to function and study, such as medication, and something I have needed for some time but couldn’t afford – a sleep apnoea machine,” Carolyn said.

“Sleep is highly important to focus, and I haven’t been able to sleep through the night for some years.”

Carolyn said she decided to study Social Work at CQUniversity after she had the opportunity to help a young person who was attending court a few years ago.

“We were in the courthouse all day, so I was able to observe others who were there and see other young people who were at risk of entering the prison system and that day changed my life,” she said.

“The fear in their eyes was heartbreaking and I decided that night that I wanted to become a social worker and to dedicate myself to helping young people who are or are at risk of being in the prison system.”

“I chose CQUni because the STEPS program was incredibly helpful prior to beginning my degree. I highly recommend that course to anyone who has been away from study for a long time.”

“Juggling full-time caring with study can be extremely difficult, particularly during times of increased stress and anxiety that we’ve seen of late. Being available for my son is very important to me. Studying online makes my life easier because I can give my son my attention and pick up with my studies later in the day, if necessary.”

Carolyn is so dedicated to social justice that she even produces her own podcast on the subject.

“I run a website and associated podcast [] in which I interview scholars, activists and ordinary people who are working toward social justice in their chosen fields,” she said.

“My goal is to help form an understanding that racism, sexism, speciesism, classism etc. are all interconnected and addressing one without the others is not going to change the way oppressed groups are viewed in general.”

GWI Managing Partner and CEO Neil Makepeace said “I recently had the privilege of meeting Carolyn and learning more about her story and determination to complete her degree. I’m proud that GWI has been able to work with CQUniversity to make a difference in her life,” he said.

The CQUniCares Scholarship program
changes lives and CQUni is grateful to partner with organisations like GWI who share the University’s passion for making a difference in the lives of our students, their families and our communities.