Education leader continuing to change lives through new scholarship legacy

06 February 2023

A new academic prize will provide eligible education graduates from CQUniversity with a significant boost upon completion of their degrees.

The $5'000 donation has been generously funded by former Dean of CQUniversity's School of Education and the Arts and Emeritus Professor' William Blayney – affectionately known as 'Bill' – who retired last year after more than two decades with the University.

The prize will be awarded to a Bachelor of Education (Secondary) graduate who achieves the highest results throughout the duration of their course under the Home Economics and Hospitality Minor through a Trade Entry pathway.

Bill said he was thrilled to be able to assist new graduates to not only land on their feet' but flourish in their pursuits.

"Studying a university degree is no small feat' especially achieving and maintaining a high grade point average'" Professor Blayney said.

"I am absolutely thrilled to be able to give back and contribute to the lives of our future teachers. It's a rewarding career and one that I can say I have thoroughly enjoyed myself."

While the professor thrived as an educator and subsequently held senior representative positions on significant boards such as the Queensland College of Teachers' Australian Council of Deans of Education' and was also Deputy Chair of the Queensland Council of Deans of Education' a career as a teacher was not his first choice as a young man.

Growing up in Sydney' Bill had always wanted to be a chef' but through the inspiration of his high school Home Economics teacher' he was drawn to teaching – seeing him eventually become the first ever male Home Economics teacher in Australia.

"It's true – you really can combine what you love doing with teaching and turn it into a fantastic career'" Professor Blayney said.

"That's what I'm most excited about seeing with our future teachers – a genuine love for what they do' and in turn inspiring their students in this same way."

The $5'000 donation will be rolled out as a $1'000 academic prize for one graduate each year for the next five years. The recipient will be determined in liaison between CQUniversity academic and governance staff.

The first prize will be awarded to a student in this year's (2023) graduate cohort.