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CQUniCares scholarship helps engineer big career for WA mum

Published:13 July 2021

CQUni Engineering student Leanne Mott with her daughter.

CQUni Engineering student and CQUniCares Connellan Airways Trust Scholarship recipient Leanne Mott with her daughter.

CQUniversity Engineering student and Karratha mum Leanne Mott has done the hard yards to pursue her dream career, and now a remote scholarship is helping pave the way.

The award-winning community volunteer was recently one of four national recipients of the CQUniCares Connellan Airways Trust Scholarship, designed to support remote and regional students’ education by making it more accessible and achievable.

The Connellan Airways Trust is a not-for-profit organisation established by Australian pioneer aviator E.J. Connellan to assist people who reside in Outback Australia through grants and scholarships with more than $4.2 million provided since 1981.

Ms. Mott, who was the first graduate of the Pilbara Universities Centre’s Skills for Tertiary Education Preparatory Studies (STEPS) pathway with CQUniversity, is now studying her first year Bachelor of Engineering (Honours), majoring in Mechatronics.

Ms. Mott said she cried when she found out she received the “life-changing” scholarship.

“I couldn’t believe it. It was just this overwhelming sense of pride and achievement,” she said.

“These people believe in me and my journey and have backed me financially to assist me in achieving my goals.”

“I’ve got an electrical background, and I’ve just always loved how things work and technical solutions. I’ve always wanted to do engineering, but I honestly didn’t think I would ever be able to.”

Earlier this year, Ms. Mott travelled to CQUniversity Rockhampton in Central Queensland, to complete a week of compulsory residential school, and meet her cohort and tutors and attend workshops. The scholarship also covered travel costs, and Ms. Mott said the experience was inspiring.

“Just getting to connect with other students and lecturers opened my eyes up to so much, I loved it,” she said.

“I realised how many other people were facing the same challenges as me, and also the potential for the degree, and all the amazing facilities available to support my learning.”

A passionate community member, Ms. Mott has also been recognised for her volunteering with the local racing club, in 2019 receiving the Racing and Wagering Western Australia Award for Outstanding Contribution to Regional Racing, and the CITIC Pacific Mining Volunteer of the Year.

While the study is a juggle with her work, Ms. Mott said she hoped to inspire other people to study.

“I just hope people can read my story and realise that it’s never too late,” she said. “Don’t give up on your dreams.”

“Just because we live in regional WA doesn’t mean that you can’t do it.”

“There are people out there who believe in us and will back us and help us on that journey. Just have a go.”

Pilbrara University Centre Academic Coordinator Dr Jacinta Homann said the PUC was incredibly proud of Leanne.

“We really commend the hard work undertaken and perseverance shown by her,” she said.

CQUniversity has been a partner in the Pilbara University Centre since 2014, with a range of degrees offered via mixed mode, combining online learning and face-to-face support.

Ms Mott received the CQUniCares Connellan Airways Trust Scholarship in Term 1, 2021, alongside fellow CQUni students Kasey Gough (Bachelor of Nursing), Britney Hannay (Bachelor of Paramedic Science) and Kaya Salmond (Bachelor of Education – Early Childhood).

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