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Aspiring teacher already changing lives with CQUni

Published:23 June 2021

Bachelor of Education (Secondary) student Ashlyn Forsaith.

A CQUniversity Bachelor of Education (Secondary) student Ashlyn Forsaith is determined her career will change lives, and her community service work is already making an impact.

The Brisbane student’s work has included Breakfast Club volunteering and running a literacy and reading intervention program, as well as a Student Ambassador role with CQUni.

Last month the passionate 23-year-old was recognised in the 7NEWS Young Achiever Awards, presented with a nominee certificate in the BB Print Regional Achiever category at the annual gala event.

Ashlyn says her CQUni studies, and particularly the Individuals, Families and Communities unit, inspired her approach.

“I definitely believe that unit was a springboard for my achievements so far – I was deeply invested in this unit beyond being just another assessment, and to this day it’s the most valuable unit I have completed,” she said.

The Individuals, Families and Communities unit introduces Home Economics philosophy, ideology and practice by connecting students with a community-based activity to examine social innovation in action.

“I was engrossed in community service with The Breakfast Club in Redcliffe for two months, and from that experience I created a report on the issue of homelessness in that area,” Ashlyn explained.

She said Home Economics Senior Lecturer Dr Jay Deagon was an “insightful guide” through the process.

Ashlyn, who now works as a teacher’s aide, received a 2019 Student Opal Award for Engaged Service Learning for her work in the unit, and her report Homelessness Is Beyond Housing.

Dr Deagon said Ashlyn’s enthusiasm reflected her changemaker mindset, a valuable tool for all educators.

“The Individuals, Families and Communities unit challenges students to take action and implement positive change in people's lives in professional, ethical and culturally appropriate ways,” Dr Deagon explained.

“Ashlyn has done that in her community service, and continues to do it in her career.”

CQUniversity is Australia’s only Changemaker University, accredited by global network for social innovation in education Ashoka U.

To explore Education courses at CQUniversity, visit cqu.edu.au/courses/education-courses.