My CQUniversity education gave me the skills to set up and manage my own business, Minniecon and Burke Pty Ltd – Employment, Training and Consultancy Services with Mitch Burke. Through it I’ve been able to move my generation of Aboriginal and Islander descendants forward just that little bit more. It’s helped me to give practical definition to an old saying ‘If you’re black, you don’t stand back’.
My Uni experience was one of the best experiences of my life. To start off with, half of my footy team turned up to sign on at orientation. They reckoned ‘Minniecon, if you can do it we can too’. Some of them didn’t last, but they had a go which was great. I developed a great relationship with the other students, most of them just coming out of grade 12 at high school. They’d sit with me in the Library where we’d help each other with assignments and study.
The campus was great, students would sit out on the grass, under trees or in the refec having a feed and a yarn. Some of the students would come to my place at Yeppoon and we’d work on our assignments. Lecturers went out of their way to support you. Nulloo Yumba was there to help if you needed them, and if you were looking for resource material the Library staff would crawl all over you trying to help. CQU’s support systems were second to none. During my studies on campus at the Uni, it was one place where racism didn’t exist. It was one of the great times in my life.
Wearing that cap and gown for graduation felt pretty good and I think I inspired a lot of my people to go to University, by showing them if I could do it so can you. Even today, having observed other Murri centres and other Universities, I still recommend CQ University whenever I can.