Luke Edmund wanted a career where he could improve the lives of First Nations people in his community' and thanks to support from a CQUniCares BHP Indigenous Scholarship' the new graduate is well on his way to a rewarding psychology career.
The proud Darumbal and South Sea Islander man received his testamur at the recent CQUniversity Rockhampton graduation ceremony after completing a Bachelor of Psychological Science.
"I decided to study psychology because I was interested in human behaviour and felt I could use these in my community'" Mr Edmund explained.
"I know personally the struggle to balance work' family life' and on top of that full-time study. I hope to draw on my experiences to assist others."
To help support his studies' Mr Edmund received a CQUniCares BHP Indigenous Scholarship which he acknowledged provided significant assistance throughout his demanding study journey.
These scholarships provide recognition and financial assistance to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students enrolled in a CQUniversity Bachelor course up to the value of $20'000.
"I first heard about the scholarship opportunities from Indigenous support staff at the University' who encouraged me to apply.
"The CQUniCares BHP Indigenous Scholarship allowed me to reduce my working hours and focus on my degree' this also gave me more free time that I could spend with family' which is important to me'" Mr Edmund said.
"Because I reduced my work hours to focus on studying' I used the scholarship to support my family financially whilst we were on one wage and used funds for essential living items and bills.
"I also used some of the funds to purchase a new laptop' textbooks and subscriptions for statistical software and other essential items for the degree."
Mr Edmund said he was grateful for the opportunities his scholarship provided and was motivated to expand his learning outside the classroom.
"A highlight of my studies was meeting other like-minded' interesting students' and discussing complex ideas about serious topics.
"I also had the opportunity to volunteer for a mentoring program funded by BHP. I helped tutor and mentor Indigenous high school students across Central Queensland – something I became very passionate about."
Having a limited educational background himself' Mr Edmund said he was able to share his experiences with the young students and provide them with information on the different study options available to them.
To help gain entry into his bachelor's degree' Mr Edmund first completed CQUniversity's Skills for Tertiary Education Preparatory Studies (STEPS)' a free enabling course that provides a pathway to gain entry to and excel in higher education.
"STEPS was an extremely helpful program that prepared me for my undergraduate studies.
"I found STEPS essential in preparing me for academic writing' finding and synthesising relevant information' and thinking critically. These were all tools that helped in my undergraduate."
Given his positive experiences at CQUniversity' Mr Edmund said he was inspired to return to study in the future with aspirations to continue into research.
"Now that I have graduated' I plan to take a break from studying to focus on spending time with my family and working within the community'" Mr Edmund said.
"But I would like to return at some point and continue with my postgraduate studies and hopefully do my own research."
CQUniversity Deputy Vice-President Indigenous Engagement and BHP Chair in Indigenous Engagement' Professor Adrian Miller congratulated the recent graduate on his achievements.
"Mr Edmund is a great role model for young people in the community and I am excited to see the positive change he can make with his new qualifications'" Prof Miller said.
The CQUniCares Scholarship program changes lives and CQU is grateful to partner with organisations like BHP who share the University's passion for making a difference in the lives of our students' their families and our communities.
Applications for the 2023 BHP Scholarships are now opened until 30 January at https://www.cqu.edu.au/scholarships