Cynthia passionate about improving Higher Education outcomes for Indigenous Australians

27 May 2021

Mackay-based Cynthia Simpson has a passion for improving higher education outcomes for Indigenous Australians.

The CQUniversity Campus Coordinator is also a General Board Member of Kutta Mulla Gorinna (KMG) Special Assistance School and a member of the sub-committee of the KMG Future Outlook Committee.

"Since starting at CQUni five years ago' I have always known the University as one to strive to improve higher education outcomes for Indigenous Australians'"

Cynthia said.

"For me personally - without being a teacher or lecturer – I want to have a small hand in assisting Indigenous students to not only achieve but also just believe more.

"When you see that happening' the feeling is second to none'"

she said.

The Kutta Mulla Gorinna Special Assistance School has been successful in supporting vulnerable and disengaged youth with an influx of students enrolled in further education and training programs.

Since opening at CQUniversity's Mackay City campus almost two years ago' KMG has provided secondary schooling opportunities to young people who are disconnected and alienated from the conventional school system.

The School' led by Executive School Director Justin Giblett' has over 50 students currently enrolled.

"Working with Justin and seeing his' his staff and the school's Indigenous Elders' passion for helping their students is very much inspirational."

In her role on the Board' Cynthia said she has been fortunate to see KMG students start as "disengaged' shy' never say hello unless specifically addressed" to within a short period of time "knocking on my office door' confident to ask questions and to say hello first when walking past."

"To top it off' to hear someone say they want to go to uni and become a teacher and go back to KMG and teach - well there is no better endorsement as to the importance of Indigenous Engagement."

Cynthia has recently been tasked with setting up and creating a platform for KMG Alumni students.

"I am very much looking forward to the school being able to showcase their success stories' which are already happening'"

she said.

"My favourite part is being able to provide opportunities for CQUni to connect or assist KMG in any way. I have seen the school go through its ups and down to eventually become an accredited independent school' who are not just ticking all the boxes operationally' but who are providing a safe' respectful' cultural educational facility for disadvantaged/disengaged students along with also now being recognised as a first-choice school for some families."