CQUni alum Thomas encourages others with a disability to pursue their study goals

03 December 2021

Accounting graduate Thomas Holland has encouraged anyone with a disability to not let it define them or their education and that support will always be on hand at CQUniversity.

The First Nations man' who belongs to the Ngarigo people' spoke of his experiences while studying at CQUniversity for International Day of People With Disabilities (December 3).

While studying' Thomas was competing internationally in Wheelchair Basketball' and was part of the bronze medal-winning team at the World Championships in Toronto' Canada in 2017.

"I'd say that the disability doesn't define you in your day-to-day life' so you shouldn't let it define your studies either and CQUni definitely won't define you by it'" Thomas said.

"CQUni was completely accepting of me as a student' a person with a disability and an athlete with the disability being the most minor of the three. They accepted me and provided all accommodations and special needs I required.

"They never made me feel different or like an outcast' so anyone with a disability who is looking to study shouldn't think about their disability until they've found the right course for them and their goals because the disability doesn't limit your studying ability. It just gives you a more unique experience to get to the same result as everyone else."

Thomas said during his studies' he received one-on-one support consultations at the start of each semester on scheduling of classes and accessibility to classrooms and computer labs.

"My experience at CQUni was one that I look back on fondly as CQUni was nothing but supportive of both my needs as a wheelchair user but also my needs as an international athlete at the time'" he said.

"In addition to the day-to-day assistance I received' CQUni was very accommodating when it came to exam time' allowing me to focus on the study and exams rather than worrying about accessibility or special provisions (e.g. giving me room to stretch and keep my body relaxed' any medications I needed to take and laptop/computer to use due to hand/fine motor issues)."

Since completing his degree in 2017' Thomas is now senior auditor for Vincents in its Assurance & Risk Advisory division.

"CQUni helped prepare me for the role by building up my theoretical accounting knowledge through the textbook/learning side of the course' but also by having great lecturers' tutors with life and industry experience' who allowed me to learn more of the day-to-day and real-life skills that textbooks can't teach you. The balance of knowledge I received from CQUni was extremely helpful'" he said.

To learn more about CQUniversity's disability support services visit https://www.cqu.edu.au/student-life/new-students/contacts-and-forms/domestic-students/accessibilitydisability-support

For more on International Day of People With Disabilities' visit https://www.idpwd.com.au/about/