For Bianca Shyhun' the ability to complete her studies in her local area proved to be a large asset' giving the Tully local an opportunity to create long-lasting connections with her community.
The Diploma of Community Services student said she decided to enrol with CQUniversity after hearing about the online study options' which gave her the flexibility needed to study in her hometown.
"I was working as an Administration Officer when I decided I wanted to broaden my knowledge and complete tertiary education'" Bianca said.
"I have always liked helping people and felt this qualification could help me to assist people further.
"The option to study online was a huge advantage as I can utilise these new skills to help others living in the regions."
Bianca completed her placement at the Tully Support Centre' where she learnt how to provide support' advocacy and interventions to individual clients and groups in the region.
She said the experience gave her an invaluable first-hand perspective into the range of support services.
"Placement was challenging' yet very rewarding. It helped me to feel more confident in the sector'" she said.
"It enabled me to build networks within the community and learn about services available to people within the Cassowary Coast.
"A highlight of my placement was meeting new people' both clients and staff. I also enjoyed helping reach client needs by referring them to correct services."
With plans to complete her diploma in early 2023' Bianca said she wants to continue her studies with CQU into a Bachelor of Social Work.
"My plans for the future are to study a social work degree.
"I have had a very positive experience studying with CQUniversity with a lot of support from friends' teachers' and colleagues'" Bianca explained.
"No matter your background' location or learning needs' CQU makes students feel welcome and supported with access to a range of personal and learning support services.
"While returning to study as a mature aged student and maintaining a strong work/life balance can be difficult' I have found that with the right support structures and goals in place' it is achievable."