Positive impact: 2016 NCWQ Elsie Byth bursary recipient, Jessica McNamara

Rebecca Clapperton (far left) with Nanango State High School Grade 12 students.

Rebecca Clapperton, a past student, contacted Nanango State High School to ask if she could address the current Year 12’s.

Her intent was to help support and promote the school’s programs on “Building Aspirations and Resilience”.

She spoke about her journey to date – finishing school, dealing with moving away from home, the pressures of her studies, her bursary and her upcoming adventure to study in America.

Rebecca along with one of the Year 12 students, Jessica McNamara (centre) was recently awarded a bursary from the National Council of Women of Queensland (NCWQ) to continue their studies – Rebecca in Agriculture and Business at the University of New England and Jessica to study teaching in 2017.

Also pictured is Emily Smith, a present Year 12, who spent time talking to Rebecca about her future aspirations to study in a field that is related to rural industry

Well done to these students (past and present) who are reaching for the stars and making their dreams a reality.

Jessica is a young woman in Year 12 at Nanango State High School.

She was in the cohort of students, under the leadership of Kayleen Freeman, who participated in the QRRRWN Conference at Biloela.

Jessica wishes to further her education to become a primary school teacher.

Jess is an active member in both her schooling and local community.

She has volunteered in Relay for Life for the past 3 years as well as a door knock appeal.

She is working towards completing her Bronze Duke of Edinburgh Award this year.

She is Vice-President of her school’s student council as well as being a student council class representative.

For the past 2 years she has been a Peer Skills Leader involved with the younger students in her school.

And she has done work experience at a school and a childcare centre.

She has studied dance for 12 years and is an assistant teacher of junior classes.

Jessica was the successful applicant from the many who applied for the 2016 Elsie Byth bursary for a female student enrolled in Year 12 and planning to become a teacher.

The Elsie Byth bursary is sponsored by her grand-daughter, Dr Susan Byth, and is in honour of Elsie who was President of the National Council of Women of Queensland from 1940 to 1945 and again from 1948 to 1952. In the interim period she was the National President.

She told us that receiving the bursary would be extremely beneficial as she commences her teaching degree course in the new year.

Jess reflected, “I was absolutely privileged to receive the NCWQ Elsie Byth bursary.

My aim is to become a primary teacher and study at the University of Southern Queensland.

This means that I would have to move out to be able to attend university to attain my higher education.

This change in lifestyle doesn’t come without major financial problems and the receipt of the bursary will help go towards both accommodation and textbooks.

Once I become a qualified teacher, I wish to come back to a small rural or remote school to educate students that have had a similar education to what I have grown up with.

This will help both the children and the local community as a whole.

Growing up in a rural school has taught me about the importance of teachers in these areas and has inspired my decisions for the future

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