Nursing student is determined to give back to First Nations communities

11 October 2022

After letting her own self-doubt hold her back' CQUniversity student Tayla Greenalsh is looking forward to a rewarding nursing career that will support other First Nations people.

"I have always wanted to be a Nurse but had the belief that I was not smart enough'" Tayla said.

"I struggled for many years with anxiety and depression and could never imagine myself being intelligent enough to undertake any tertiary courses' let alone study in the field of healthcare.

"It wasn't until I found CQU that I took that leap of faith to start my studies in my late 20's. Now I know I am 100 per cent capable of doing anything I set my mind to."

After completing her Diploma of Nursing with CQUniversity in 2021' Tayla said she made the decision to advance her studies by articulating into a Bachelor of Nursing earlier this year.

"I decided to continue my studies through CQU as I had completed my Diploma of Nursing at the Rockhampton campus. Being local was a great advantage for me. The hands-on approach of the on-campus learning suits my learning.

"I had a great experience with my Diploma and wanted to have the same experience in Higher Education."

As a proud Indigenous Australian woman from the Iman tribe' Tayla said her heritage has played a strong role in committing to her nursing studies and has inspired her to support First Nations people through her career.

"I always had a dream of helping people much like my mother who has been a Social Worker for over a decade.

"A passion of mine is educating people about the importance of maintaining a balanced lifestyle to help prevent or minimise the risk of preventable diseases.

"I would love to be able to be an educator in this field of nursing and be able to help people especially our First Nations mob to live healthy' happy and holistic lives."

Tayla said her CQUniCares BHP Scholarship and her Indigenous Pathways Advance Queensland Scholarship have helped immensely' providing her with the motivation and financial support to succeed.

"I first heard about CQU's scholarships opportunities through the Indigenous Engagement Team. I am very grateful for their guidance and educating me on the opportunities available to you while studying through CQU.

"I was over the moon when I found out I received a scholarship. I felt like everything I have been working so hard for was starting to fall into place.

"My scholarship is a driving force. I hope to show others that anything is possible with the right support.

"I am forever grateful' and it helps motivate me to do my absolute best every day."

She also said the scholarship helped to balance her study and work commitments by taking some pressure off her finances while on placement.

"The scholarship has given me the opportunity continue to grow my experience and build my knowledge through further study.

"I work shift work as an Enrolled Nurse and the placements for nursing can be weeks at a time' resulting in no financial income for that time of placement'" Tayla explained.

"It has really taken some financial pressure off me while I work on achieving my goals!"

The CQUniCares Scholarship program changes lives and CQU is grateful to partner with organisations like BHP and the Queensland Government who share the University's passion for making a difference in the lives of our students' their families and our communities.

Tayla Greenalsh was one of five students to be awarded a BHP Scholarships in Term 2' 2022 with fellow scholars Zhanae Dodd' Ashleigh Boileau' Crue Hoskins' and Stephanie Pasco receiving CQUniCares BHP Indigenous Scholarships.

Applications for Scholarships in 2023 opened in early October. For more information' including individual eligibility criteria and upcoming closing dates' visit