Bursary Fund-raising Morning Tea and Fashion Parade

NCWQ held its annual bursary fund-raising morning tea and fashion parade Thursday, 10 October. Leah Lever, previous recipient of the Elements Living bursary in 2018, charmed us with her beautiful singing. Ella Madigan, a recipient of last year’s Ipswich City Council bursary for a secondary student, spoke about her activity with NCWQ and the Young Women’s sub-committee.

Currently studying nursing, she intends to then study to medicine. With the theme of acknowledging women in medicine, the contributions of various women were highlighted by affiliated organisation Queensland Medical Women’s Society. Fashions were provided by Soubrét Pink, from Mt Gravatt, displaying the current trends ranging from casual to more formal occasions. NCWQ appreciates the support of all those involved, with the proceeds funding the NCWQ-sponsored 2020 bursaries.

IWD 2019: Farhana Sharmin, Bursary Recipient

To mark 2019 International Women’s Day (#BalanceforBetter), NCWQ is profiling an impressive women each day in and around the 8th March. These featured young women are past NCWQ Bursary Recipients, and have demonstrated incredible leadership, success, community service, intelligence and commitment to their personal and professional passions. In today’s feature, past bursary recipient Farhana Sharmin shares her thoughts.

To learn more about the bursary program, keep an eye on our website in the coming month. 

What were the benefits to you in being a 2018 NCWQ bursary recipient?

Being a recipient of the 2018 NCWQ Senator Claire Moore bursary provided me a financial support for my education course. I have purchased a laptop for my study purpose. This bursary not only gave me financial support but also provided me a great networking opportunity and allowed me to return my confident, self-esteem to continue my journey.

What are your goals for this year?

Education was not always my field of study. I have done PhD in microbiology. After a long ups and down, I realized my calling is to involve with education system here in Australia. My goal is to finish my education degree this year and return to workplace after a long break. I would like to work collaboratively to make connection between science and education our future generation.

What is your personal mantra or self-talk that you use to keep yourself on track in pursuing your aspirations?

My prayer to God is my mantra to manage my insecurities, judgments, and tendency towards love. The more I connect with my own heart, I fall into deeper love with me and I can see love everywhere.

My mom always said to me “Slow down. When you rush, things fall apart. Lower your expectations of what you can do and how fast you can do it, and everyone will be happy.”

Who have been your most significant woman role models?

Mother is the greatest role model in my life, she is the most kind hearted, strong-minded, strong-willed, and driven to succeed, caring, hard-working, firm but faired person I have ever seen in my life. I miss her every day.

IWD 2019: Madison Birtchnell, Bursary Recipient

To mark 2019 International Women’s Day (#BalanceforBetter), NCWQ is profiling an impressive women each day in and around the 8th March. These featured young women are past NCWQ Bursary Recipients, and have demonstrated incredible leadership, success, community service, intelligence and commitment to their personal and professional passions. In today’s feature, past bursary recipient Madison Birtchnell shares her thoughts.

To learn more about the bursary program, keep an eye on our website in the coming month. 

What were the benefits to you in being a 2018 NCWQ bursary recipient?

I am most grateful to have received in 2017, from Chiou See Anderson, the Elements Living Bursary and in 2018 the Forum Communicators Bursary from Joy and the Forum committee. It is particularly special to me to have received a second bursary this year and to be following in my sister Taylor’s footsteps who was last year’s Forum Communicators recipient. There are so many wonderful opportunities to contribute to our communities and I particularly admire the NCWQ bursary program as it has given women across Queensland, particularly young women, the opportunity to use our passions as a platform to encourage others in the pursuit of service and become actively engaged in their communities, in leadership roles and challenging the status quo. The financial support that I have received from these bursaries has been primarily utilised to purchase a laptop for my university studies and text books, with the remainder of my funds being saved to assist in the costs of attending the Women Deliver Young Leader’s Conference next year which will be hosted in Vancouver, Canada. But this program is so much more than just financial support, with the ongoing relationships that the wonderful sponsors offer being incredibly meaningful.

I was delighted to meet Chiou See at the bursary presentation evening in 2017 and she has been a great source of mentorship and advice for myself since then, particularly in regards to my studies and entering the workforce. I particularly admire her drive in creating her own business and successfully delivering such wonderful services to her residents at Elements Living. I have also been very fortunate to speak with the lovely ladies from Forum Communicators this year, some of whom I met when I used to attend their Cleveland Forum meetings when I was younger with my mum, and I love that I am going to be able to present with them over the coming months, and assist them in their efforts to encourage women to find and raise their voices and also to speak and present confidently. Already, they have been so encouraging of my endeavours and have provided wonderful role models and a diverse network to engage with.

What are your goals for this year?

My goal this year is to continue to work towards empowering more young people to become leaders in our communities, raise awareness regarding the importance of good youth mental health, advocate for equality and inclusion and to continue to advocate for social justice issues. This year, I am traveling to Canada in June as part of the Women Deliver Young Leaders Program for the Global Conference. This worldwide program enables me to be a catalyst for and enact real change. This platform elevates my work as a champion for gender equality and the health, rights and well-being of girls and women within Australia and globally. Through consultations and awareness campaigns at both grassroots, national and ultimately global level, this two-year initiative shapes the programs and policies that affect the lives of young girls and women.

What is your personal mantra or self-talk that you use to keep yourself on track in pursuing your aspirations?

If not today, then when? I believe in the power of now and seizing the opportunities that lay before us, to never give up on one’s passions. From a young age, I have maintained the importance of a selfless attitude and giving back to my community. It is from these experiences and interactions I have developed a passion to work in government and the United Nations, where I can have the most impact and create social change. As part of this aspiration, I enjoy becoming involved in all aspects of the community and have a great passion for empowering others. It is my hope one day that I will be able to use the skills and experience that I have gained, to create a legacy which inspires the next generation of community leaders and fosters an environment that realises the potential of young people.

Who have been your most significant woman role models?

For myself, I have been fortunate to have been influenced, mentored and inspired by an array of inspirational women. In particular, I have been inspired by the drive of my sister and empowered by her continuous support and belief in my endeavours. I am also inspired by my mother, who has always supported me without question and has put me before her own needs. I am very fortunate to have also been supported by many community-minded role models including Noela O’Donnell AM (NCWQ) Kay Danes OAM (Rotary), Karen Murphy (Quota) and Louise Baldwin.

IWD 2019: Leah Lever, Bursary Recipient

To mark 2019 International Women’s Day (#BalanceforBetter), NCWQ is profiling an impressive women each day in and around the 8th March. These featured young women are past NCWQ Bursary Recipients, and have demonstrated incredible leadership, success, community service, intelligence and commitment to their personal and professional passions. In today’s feature, past bursary recipient Leah Lever shares her thoughts.

To learn more about the bursary program, keep an eye on our website in the coming month. 

What were the benefits to you in being a 2018 NCWQ bursary recipient?

Being a bursary recipient has given me the confidence to extend myself further.  It has not only supported my academic studies, but it helped my family purchase a new instrument, which I can play in addition to my singing and trumpet playing. It will add a new dimension to my work as performing artist.

What are your goals for this year?

My goals for this year to use my growing confidence to network with industry peers and help establish myself as a professional performing artist, which has been my aspiration since I was in preschool.

What is your personal mantra or self-talk that you use to keep yourself on track in pursuing your aspirations?

I tell myself that no matter what obstacles come my way, I need to keep moving forward, continue building my skills, and make a  positive contribution wherever and however I can.

Who have been your most significant woman role models?

Surfer Bethany Hamilton because she turned what many people would see as a negative life-changing event into a positive life-changing event.

Julie Andrews because she was a marvel at balancing her performing career with her family life. She was the ultimate example in achieving work-life  balance in an era when so many women could only dream of such possibilities.

IWD 2019: Joelle Cullen, Bursary Recipient

To mark 2019 International Women’s Day (#BalanceforBetter), NCWQ is profiling an impressive women each day in and around the 8th March. These featured young women are past NCWQ Bursary Recipients, and have demonstrated incredible leadership, success, community service, intelligence and commitment to their personal and professional passions. In today’s feature, past bursary recipient Joelle Cullen shares her thoughts.

To learn more about the bursary program, keep an eye on our website in the coming month. 

What were the benefits to you in being a 2018 NCWQ bursary recipient?

Being a recipient of the 2018 National Council of Women Queensland provided me with financial support to help accommodate for the cost of living away from home to study at the University of Queensland in Brisbane. Aside from this, however, the NCWQ also gave me the opportunity to meet so many inspiring women and encouraged me in my first year studies, especially while settling into a new city away from my rural hometown and close family. I am extremely grateful for all the connections I have made and continual support I have received through NCWQ over the past year.

What are your goals for this year?

This year I aim to continue my second- year studies at the University of Queensland and achieve distinctions in my Biomedical Science courses. I am excited to be pursuing my dream of becoming a doctor and cannot wait to see what the remaining six years of studying “Doctor of Medicine: Provisional Entry for School- Leavers” at UQ has in store for me!

What is your personal mantra or self-talk that you use to keep yourself on track in pursuing your aspirations?

To keep myself on track in pursing my goal of becoming a doctor, I constantly have to remind myself throughout my studies that, as stated by Ralph Waldo Emerson: ‘life is a journey, not a destination’. Medicine is a degree which requires a lot of study, patience and commitment, therefore, if I look too far ahead and don’t take each day as it comes, it can be overwhelming!

Recognising that while I have a goal to become a doctor and am working towards that goal, there will always be new goals and ‘destinations’ to pursue, motivates me to do my very best and make the most of the present moment. As a result, I want to make the absolute most of my six remaining years of medicine study and continue to work hard, form new friendships and, importantly, enjoy myself and have fun along the way!

Who have been your most significant woman role models?

One significant role model in my life is my former boss and manager at work, Naomi Bath. Naomi was a pharmacist in my hometown who was well- loved, respected and dearly missed by the rural community. Recently, she moved to Perth to pursue a career in medicine and since, has been on placement volunteering in the country of Tanzania and with the Royal Flying Doctor Service. She has been largely involved with the local Rotary club and continues to inspire me with her love and concern for those around her and commitment and dedication to work hard in all she does.

IWD 2019: Erin Condrin, Bursary Recipient

To mark 2019 International Women’s Day (#BalanceforBetter), NCWQ is profiling an impressive women each day in and around the 8th March. These featured young women are past NCWQ Bursary Recipients, and have demonstrated incredible leadership, success, community service, intelligence and commitment to their personal and professional passions. In today’s feature, past bursary recipient Erin Condrin shares her thoughts.

To learn more about the bursary program, keep an eye on our website in the coming month. 

What were the benefits to you in being a 2018 NCWQ bursary recipient?

It was a great feeling to be recognised by the NCWQ. The recognition reaffirmed all of the hard work I had been putting into my studies. It was also inspiring to hear the stories of the other remarkable women who received awards.

What are your goals for this year?

I plan on graduating my Psychological Science degree this year and I have also sent the goal for myself to graduate my degree ‘With Distinction’ (GPA of 6.5 or higher out of 7). However, my ultimate goal for the year is to gain entry into a Masters of Speech Pathology.

What is your personal mantra or self-talk that you use to keep yourself on track in pursuing your aspirations?

I have two favourite mantras. Firstly “grow through what you go through” and secondly, “you either get bitter or you get better, the choice is yours”.

Who have been your most significant woman role models?

My Mum is the most significant role model in my life, she has been my source of strength through the illness I faced during my teenage years. She inspired me to never give up and to be the best I can be.

IWD 2019: Rebecca Senini, Bursary Recipient

To mark 2019 International Women’s Day (#BalanceforBetter), NCWQ is profiling an impressive women each day in and around the 8th March. These featured young women are past NCWQ Bursary Recipients, and have demonstrated incredible leadership, success, community service, intelligence and commitment to their personal and professional passions. In today’s feature, past bursary recipient Rebecca Senini shares her thoughts.

To learn more about the bursary program, keep an eye on our website in the coming month. 

What were the benefits to you in being a 2018 NCWQ bursary recipient?

The benefit of being a 2018 NCWQ bursary recipient, was being able to take the pressure off of my parents after my father’s cancer diagnosis, in trying to source the money to buy myself a laptop during my first year of university.

What are your goals for this year?

My goals for this year are to successfully complete my second year of pharmacy and continue striving towards finishing my degree. Additionally, one of my goals is to represent my university playing women’s rugby union at Nationals Div 1 this year.

What is your personal mantra or self-talk that you use to keep yourself on track in pursuing your aspirations?

My personal mantra to keep myself on track is “Quitters never win, and winners never quit.” This quote pushes me to keep going and not to give up despite the circumstances.

Who have been your most significant woman role models?

The most significant woman role model in my life is my mother. She is positive, has always supported and encouraged me to do my best. She is the reason why I understand the power of education. My mother is the strongest and most determined woman I know. Last year she managed to keep smiling and kept on moving despite the dramas my family faced.

Councillor Vicki Howard Bursary: meet our 2018 recipient!

This year’s NCWQ bursary award ceremony was one to remember. Among the many special women being recognised for their achievements and talents, was Marlene Litchfield.

Receiving the Councillor Vicki Howard bursary, from Brisbane City Council, Marlene was recognised for her achievements in a number of areas.

Her particular bursary focuses on assistance for female students living in the Brisbane City Council area, who identify with the LGBTIQ community. In addition to the monetary value of $1,000.00, the bursary will facilitate a mentoring program with Cr Vicki Howard and youth entrepreneur and LGBTIQ activist Elise Stephenson.  Applicants could be enrolled in secondary or tertiary studies.

Key bursary criteria included the following:

  • A female student, aged between 16-24 years, living in the Brisbane City Council area, enrolled in high school or tertiary studies, and identifying with the LGBTIQ community.
  • Able to demonstrate your work in empowering your communities in your educational institution and/or wider networks
  • An Australian citizen or a Permanent Resident of Australia.

NCWQ is very pleased to award this bursary to Marlena in 2018.

Marlena Litchfield is a young woman of passion who has carved out a number of key positive outcomes for the LGBTIQ community.

From early in her university studies, she has been extremely involved in activities which have promoted and delivered:

  • safe, inclusive events for under-18 students
  • semester-long sports tournaments for queer students
  • one of the University’s largest Queer Balls.
  • Safe-Sex Week activities
  • Pride Week events and
  • LGTBIQ student rights protests.

The LGBTIQ Legal Service internship gave Marlena further avenues to achieve positive outcomes for the LGBTIQ community:

  • Facilitating client in-take for weekly walk-in advice sessions
  • matching LGBTIQ people to specialty solicitors
  • organising promotional events
  • updating the social media account
  • securing corporate donors for the service.

Marlena is a passionate advocate for young LGBTIQ people and fostering the creation of a safe community for all. Her own experiences have cemented a platform to address the discriminatory practices operating towards minority groups within the queer community.

Her vision for the future is to continue working in criminal law, and she is committed to representing and empowering marginalised communities in Australia.

Congratulations Marlena! We are so looking forward to following your exciting ongoing journey.

IWD 2018: Christine Cunial, NCWQ Bursary Recipient

To mark 2018 International Women’s Day, NCWQ is profiling an impressive women each day in the lead up to and including the 8th March. These featured young women are past NCWQ Bursary Recipients, and have demonstrated incredible leadership, success, community service, intelligence and commitment to their personal and professional passions. In today’s feature, past bursary recipient Christine Cunial shares her thoughts.

To learn more about the bursary program, keep an eye on our website in the coming month or two.  

What were the benefits to you in being a 2017 NCWQ bursary recipient?

I am an external student and my university is 1000km’s away. The bursary funds gave me the opportunity to travel to my university for compulsory study purposes.

What are your goals for this year?

2018 brings the final year of my nursing studies, and I am hoping to find a position at my local hospital which complements both my career aspirations and my family situation.

Who have been your most significant woman role models?

I am almost at the end, so keep positive & study!

Who have been your most significant woman role models?

I would have to say the most important would be my mother. Although she is no longer with us, she always made sure her children were happy, while she was doing things which made her happy.

IWD 2018: Megan Collis, NCWQ Bursary Recipient

To mark 2018 International Women’s Day, NCWQ is profiling an impressive women each day in the lead up to and including around the 8th March. These featured young women are past NCWQ Bursary Recipients, and have demonstrated incredible leadership, success, community service, intelligence and commitment to their personal and professional passions. In today’s feature, past bursary recipient Megan Collis shares her thoughts.

To learn more about the bursary program, keep an eye on our website in the coming month or two.  

What were the benefits to you in being a 2017 NCWQ bursary recipient?

There was the monetary benefit, obviously, which allowed me to buy a new computer to replace my very old and outdated one, plus textbooks and a lot of very late night dinners coming home exhausted from long hours at uni.

The bursary was an extra achievement to put on my resume, and last year I was became employed at Queensland Health, working in the mental health units at Ipswich Hospital.

But there was also the validation that the new life I had been creating with my volunteer work and studies was valued. It was something tangible that I could look at on the hard days, when I wanted to give up, to remind me that, actually, I wasn’t a failure.

What are your goals for this year?

I was accepted into the Master of Counselling at USQ, so working my way through that is one of my big goals this year, and I have gotten the attention of the Master’s coordinator with my desire to get proactive counselling for people with chronic illnesses; this is the topic I would like to research for my thesis, if possible.

Both my personal experiences as a person with complex chronic illnesses, the experiences of friends who deal with chronic illness, and my volunteer work in the Stroke and Rehab ward at the hospital has convinced me that there is a great need to offer counselling to people in hospital, and at points of deterioration in their chronic diseases. At present there is limited psychological support on offer, with hospital psychologists and social workers overburdened, and medical staff too busy and not well trained in delivering emotional support to patients adjusting to new diagnoses. I believe counsellors could fill that gap and help both patients and clinicians understand each other’s perspectives better.

I am also getting more opportunities to be a health consumer representative, in various committees and focus groups, which I hope to build on through the year. I believe it is vital that health consumers have a voice in their healthcare.

Lastly, I hope to continue to be an ambassador for SMART Recovery Australia, the organisation that helped me overcome my addictive behaviours and instilled in me the belief that I was a person of worth and value. In an incredible twist of fate, the woman who trained me to become a facilitator for the organisation was also my nurse, when I was a child undergoing treatment for cancer. I fly to Sydney this week to be interviewed with her, for The Sydney Morning Herald’s weekly magazine article, ‘The Two of Us’.

 

What is your personal mantra or self-talk that you use to keep yourself on track in pursuing your aspirations?

I have two:
1. Fall down seven times, get up eight.
2. One day at a time.

Who have been your most significant woman role models?

My role model is an unsung hero; her name is Sharon Majerovic. A psychologist with Drug ARM, she was also the facilitator of the SMART Recovery group I was once a member of (and now co-facilitate). When I entered my first SMART Recovery meeting I was broken, bitter and completely devoid of belief that life could ever be good; I was surviving, not living. It was her consistent calm kindness, respect, positivity and unwavering faith in me that finally led me to believe I could make positive changes and create a new life for myself that I could never have envisaged; it was her suggestion I consider a career in counselling. Although a promotion to Clinical Lead at Drug ARM has meant we no longer co-facilitate meetings together, and don’t see each other often, we are still in contact and she still provides guidance, both personally and professionally, when I need. I owe her everything.