CQUniversity is calling on the community to give financially disadvantaged students the gift of a life-changing education' with the launch of the CQUniCares Annual Appeal today.
Now in its seventh year' the Appeal will raise funds to support students who face significant financial barriers whilst completing their studies.
Vice-Chancellor and President Professor Nick Klomp said that many students face challenges during their study journey' but financial disadvantage was one of the main factors causing students to drop out.
"With so many financial pressures facing people today' making the decision to stay in university has never been more challenging for some students'" Professor Klomp said.
"CQUniversity has one of the largest ratios of students from disadvantaged backgrounds and now more than ever' these students need our support to overcome financial barriers that might be limiting their success.
"The cost-of-living crisis is now a concern to most people but for those who are studying it can seem near-impossible to manage.
"For many years now' CQUniCares has been helping students to access and continue with their studies by providing much needed financial support through scholarships and financial aid.
"This helping hand can be the difference between staying at university or dropping out and helps to relieve the burden associated with the many study and living costs our students face.
"Our students are our regions' future leaders; they will become our nurses' teachers' doctors' engineers' paramedics and tradespeople so it is critical that we support them now so that they can reach their potential and give back to our communities once they complete their studies.
"Even a small donation to the CQUniCares Appeal can make a huge difference to someone's life and their future.
"The annual CQUniCares Appeal is a reminder to these students that the community not only has their back' but that we want to see them succeed'" he said.
Director of Strategic Engagement at CQUniversity' Chris Veraa explained that demand for scholarships and financial assistance has never been higher' so this year's appeal is extremely important.
"Each year' through the generosity of individuals and corporate donors' as well as through several government funded programs' CQUniversity delivers students with more than $3 million in scholarships and financial aid.
"While the generosity of donors enables support for many students' the number of students applying for scholarships and financial assistance increases year-on-year' so in reality some students are continuing to miss out.
"In 2023' we want to support more students than ever before' but we need the help of the local community to do this.
"As an added incentive' the Scott Williams Foundation has also pledged to generously donate one additional scholarship for every 23 Appeal donors."
"We do acknowledge that times are tough for many people in our community but even the smallest donation goes a long way. Donations over $2 are also tax deductible and donors can be assured that 100 per cent of their donation will directly benefit students.
"Even if you aren't in a position to donate personally' you could become an advocate for giving by sharing our inspirational student stories related to the appeal on social media."
One student who knows the power of a CQUniCares Scholarship is Brooke Williams. Brooke was able to continue her Bachelor of Medical Laboratory Science (Honours) course' while struggling with a chronic illness.
"Due to chronic illness' I was forced to give up my career as a Sports/ Remedial Massage Therapist' instead focusing on my studies' whilst undergoing hospital procedures and treatments'" Brooke said.
"Receiving my CQUniCares Student Success Scholarship has helped to purchase textbooks' update my obsolete laptop' and assisted with travel and accommodation related expenses to attend residential schools in Rockhampton.
"I am a strong believer that my condition will not define me' nor will it be an excuse for holding me back in pursuing my career and life aspirations.
"My goal is to work in immunology in a research laboratory to help find a cure and develop novel treatments for autoimmune diseases to improve patients' quality of life."
The Appeal runs for five days' concluding on Friday' 21 October.
For more information' or to donate' visit www.cqu.edu.au/appeal.