CQUniversity Psychological Science graduate Chantelle Davis is determined to make her "rollercoaster journey" of study worthwhile by helping First Nations youth as a child psychologist.
The proud Kalkadoon/Waayni woman' who recently crossed the stage at the CQUni Brisbane Graduation Ceremony' is serving as an inspiration to other Indigenous students to follow their study dreams' despite the odds.
"I started my degree shortly after high school and it has been a rollercoaster of a journey'" she said.
"I started my degree Bachelor of Arts (Psychology)' in Melbourne where I was living' at Deakin University through the Institute of Koorie Education' before I deferred for a couple of years.
"I moved up to Brisbane to care for my mum' who was sick at the time and decided I wanted to finish of my undergraduate degree at CQUniversity."
Chantelle is the first in her family to go to university and she's received many opportunities since taking that first step into higher education.
"Along the way I've had support through different scholarships' such as the Indigenous Commonwealth Education Costs Scholarship and more recently the CQUniCares Launch Scholarship which helped in motivating me with finishing my degree'" she said.
"I have had the opportunity to do a cadetship at Monash Health' where I got a better insight into the health system' observing different psychologists and social workers within the field.
"I had the amazing opportunity to work alongside parents and children in a playgroup that was run through the Aboriginal childcare agency I worked at. As well as this' I was very fortunate enough to be a facilitator for the children/youth in a weekly dad's group' helping create a safe cultural space for the children and parents to build a stronger connection.
"Within this space' I was able to use skills I had learned from studying and apply them to certain situations that may have arisen during my time working there. This was also very useful during the other roles I had taken on' including different facilitation programs' and camps with children that were in and out of home/care."
Chantelle is currently employed through Five Bridges at the Murri Court in Brisbane as an administration officer.
"I hope in the future to further my experience and what I have done so far and become a child psychologist' specializing in the area of trauma'" she said.