Childhood dream turns into reality for Woorabinda-raised student

19 October 2021

As a young girl' Shakoda Barry dreamt of one day working in an office.

That dream has now turned into a reality for the CQUniversity business administration student.

"When my sister and I were about six to seven years old we would cut cardboard boxes and draw keyboards and computer screens on the boxes' and we'd play a game we called 'office''" Shakoda recalls.

Not only is she now enrolled in a Certificate III in Business Administration course at CQUniversity' Shakoda' 19' is also working at the university as a business administration trainee at the Rockhampton Campus.

"I was raised in Woorabinda. I went to a small number of different schools throughout primary and secondary' but I would always come home (to Woorabinda)'" Shakoda says.

"I graduated from the Wadja Wadja High School in Woorabinda in 2020 and I came to Rocky only for this traineeship not knowing that I would now have a wide network of really good people that are supporting me in a lot of areas."

The Gangulu (Blackdown tablelands)' Yiman (Taroom)' Waanyi (Doomadgee)' Kullilla (west of Brisbane) woman says she chose CQU after an Indigenous Connect team member attended her school at Woorabinda for a workshop.

"At the time I was in my repeated Year 12 and I had an education and support traineeship with Wadja Wadja. I wanted to do business administration though."

And so she enrolled at CQU.

"This course was not easy for me' I admit there were a lot of challenges. But going through these six units now' I think I've mastered it and I am proud of myself for making it thus far'" she says.

"I also love working at CQU. My role is great' my colleagues are organised' thoughtful and kind humans.

"So much of what I enjoy about administration work is creating a well-organised environment and anticipating the needs of my co-workers to make the office agenda run as efficiently as possible."

Shakoda says she enjoys the balance of study and work and says both complement each other well.

"I definitely benefit from my course while doing my traineeship role. Sometimes I use my skills outside of work too and it feels like a wonderful overwhelming moment when I realise that I'm doing it."