Sporty mum aces studies with scholarship support

04 February 2022

Ever since Catherine Rogers was young' she has had a passion for sport and exercise' even playing tennis at a national level during her teenage years.

Now' Catherine is turning her childhood dream into a career thanks to support from CQUniversity and a CQUniCares BHP Community Scholarship.

"I guess you could say that my passion for health and fitness was ingrained in me from a very young age. I always knew that it would be a big part of my life'" Catherine said.

"I have worked in the fitness industry for the past 14 years' however' I always wanted to learn more and to progress in my career."

"I put off studying out of fear of failure and a belief that I was not good enough to attend university. Luckily' I proved myself wrong because I decided to step out of my comfort zone and enrolled in a Bachelor of Exercise and Sport Sciences in 2017.

"To help support my studies and fuel my motivation' I was fortunate enough to receive a CQUniCares BHP Community Scholarship which made a significant financial contribution towards my career goals."

She said that the scholarship allowed her the freedom to focus on her studies while balancing her time as a mum' wife' student' and fitness trainer.

"I was able to purchase textbooks' a laptop' travel and accommodation to attend compulsory residential schools' in addition to bridging the income gap during the necessary work-integrated learning placements.

"Particularly at a time when our growing family put additional pressure on the budget' my scholarship assisted with many university expenses'" Catherine said.

"It also pushed me further to receive top marks by developing good study skills and being organised' which is particularly important when you have a young family."

Her hard work and dedication ultimately paid off' being awarded the Kelly Nettle Memorial Prize in her second year for the highest GPA in her Exercise and Sports Sciences cohort.

Catherine described her experience at CQUniversity as the best decision she has ever made' and advocated for other mothers to consider future study.

"My children were one and two years old when I started my university journey and when they were at kindergarten I worked' so it was important for me to have the flexible online learning options that CQU provided'" she explained.

"When my husband and I moved to Moranbah in regional Queensland five years ago without family close by' we really had to rely on each other and our friends for support.

"He works full-time' and his job is very demanding' but he would always help with the children when he was home. This gave me time to study' watch lectures' and get my assessments done.

"Additionally' the University's wide campus footprint meant my necessary residential schools were located relatively close' limiting my travel and time away from home."

After graduating top of her course in 2021' Catherine was inspired to continue her study journey by enrolling in postgraduate study.

"I am currently working as a fitness instructor and personal trainer at two of the local gyms in Moranbah and enrolled in my Master of Clinical Exercise Physiology'" she said.

"I am excited to continue to develop my knowledge and skills' which will allow me to practice as an allied health professional and contribute to a multi-disciplinary healthcare team.

"I want to make a difference and my career will allow me to positively impact the health and well-being of many people in my community."

CQUniversity Deputy Vice-President (Indigenous Engagement) and BHP Chair in Indigenous Engagement' and Director of the Centre for Indigenous Health Equity Research (CIHER) Professor Adrian Miller said he was proud to see how students across regional Queensland were benefiting from the scholarship support.

"We believe quality education should be for everyone – regardless of background' location or life circumstances'" he said.

"Congratulations to Catherine for her achievements and for being a fantastic example of how our students are working to create positive change in their communities."

The CQUniCares Scholarship program changes lives and CQUni 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.