Rural roots inspire graduate nurse

05 May 2023

From cattle stations to graduation stages and now hospital wards - CQUniversity graduate Kasey Gough has always been driven by a passion to support those living in rural and remote communities.

The Bachelor of Nursing graduate received her testamur at CQU’s Townsville Graduation Ceremony today (Friday, 5 May), which she said was the first step in her study journey to become a qualified midwife.

“I have always wanted to study nursing, particularly midwifery,” Kasey said.

“I have grown up in rural and remote communities and have seen the limited supply of healthcare in these areas. I would love to use my skills to expand healthcare in these areas one day.”

For the duration of her studies, Kasey worked on a remote cattle station in the Northern Territory while completing her degree online.

“The flexibility of CQU’s online learning appealed to me as it allowed me to study whilst living 400 km away from the closest town.

“I could take my study notes to camp and study around the fire at night. As I have never lived in a big city, this made studying easy as I was in an environment that I thrived in.

“Although it was a challenge to travel for my placements and residential schools, this only further highlighted how limited the healthcare in these regions is, strengthening my desire to assist rural communities and make a lasting improvement.

To overcome these challenges, Kasey said she applied for scholarships and always sought help from CQU staff when needed.

Kasey was one of four CQUniversity students awarded a $5000 scholarship from the Connellan Airways Trust, which provides recognition and financial assistance to undergraduate students residing in outback, remote or rural Australian communities.

“Being rural and remote, the travel is very costly. The financial assistance I received went a long way in allowing me to travel to various placements,” Kasey said.

“I have had the opportunity to assist and guide other students in similar situations, and I always encourage them to explore scholarship opportunities.

“CQU has a variety of scholarships and bursaries available to apply for, and you never know, it might just help you along your journey!”

Now a qualified graduate nurse, Kasey is excited to see where the rewarding career will lead her.

“I have secured a graduate position at Goondiwindi Hospital and am loving the transition from a student to a rural and remote nurse,” she said.

“My studies at CQU have provided invaluable insight into the nursing skills and cultural awareness needed to work in remote communities. This has allowed me to establish a rapport with patients, build trust as their nurse, and provide positive health outcomes.

“My future goals are to complete my graduate year and then apply to study a Graduate entry Bachelor of Midwifery to assist rural and remote women.”