Originally published in the South Burnett Times here.
A KUMBIA student has been given a helping hand from South Burnett Mayor Keith Campbell.
Samantha Crawford was awarded the South Burnett Mayor’s Bursary at the National Council of Women of Queensland Bursary Awards on July 26.
“It was a $1000 bursary for a female university student that had moved out of the region for tertiary education and played an active role in the community,” Ms Crawford said.
“I like to volunteer and take part in a lot of the events that help the town, I think the judges for the bursary found that good, that I like to volunteer.”
Ms Crawford said she had volunteered for several local organisations and events.
“We’ve had the Christmas Carnivals every year, I always help out at them with food prep and hot food stores,” the said.
“There was the centenary recently that I helped out with. I volunteer with running the food stall and Kumbia State School always has brain drain (trivia night) and I volunteer with running the food and will be volunteering again this year.
“I just like giving back. Kumbia is a small little place and it’s good to help people and make a difference.”
The 18-year-old Kingaroy State High School graduate studies a Bachelor of Primary Education at the University of the Sunshine Coast.
“It’s hard to move away, especially with all the costs of textbooks, so the bursary has helped in that regard,” she said.
The funds for the bursary came out of Mayor Keith Campbell’s discretionary funds.
Cr Campbell said he was delighted Ms Crawford was selected to receive the bursary.
“She is a very fine representative as a young woman with a strong sense of community,” Cr Campbell said.
“I’d like to think Samantha at some stage will return to our community, though irrespective which community she ends up teaching in she will be a great asset for that community to have.”
The 2017 Bursary Program culminated with the presentation to recipients on Wednesday 26th July. Always a special event, it was enhanced this year with the presence of His Excellency the Honourable Paul de Jersey AC, Governor of Queensland and NCWQ Patron.
The room was abuzz with a sense of pride, empowerment and empathy as recipients accepted their bursaries, along with self -acceptance of their success.
With the 2017 program the biggest yet in the number of bursaries and applications, NCWQ thanks our sponsors for ensuring the program its continued success.
Along with the support of the three levels of government and organisations, individuals’ sponsorships epitomised the diversity of the program, from young women starting out, to now-retired women who forged the way for others to follow.
We wish all recipients well as they complete their studies along their individual journeys towards their goals, aspirations and passions.
Watch out for updates as we showcase stories of recipients during the coming months.
The NCWQ 2017 Bursaries are closing on Monday 5th June. This year, a diverse range of bursaries are on offer. We are looking for top quality applications for the following bursaries – click to read more and see how you can apply!
I had the honour to receive this year’s bursary sponsored by Member of Parliament, Tracy Davis. This bursary is awarded to a woman studying at PhD level whose research will likely impact women’s health, and whose research interests have been shaped by community and/or professional involvement. I am grateful to Tracy and to all of the NCWQ members who have dedicated their time, funds and organizational skills to make such a bursary program possible.
I recall feeling rather unique on the bursary awards night, as I am roughly twice the age of most other award recipients. I listened to some of the younger women, knowing that most of the goals, dreams and ambitions that one expresses at 20 years of age inevitably change by the time 40 rolls around, and continue to change throughout life. I can only imagine that at twice my age, I will reflect upon all of the destinations, twists and turns on “life’s map” with an even deeper appreciation for the journey. As author Eileen Kennedy-Moore writes, “the path of development is a journey of discovery that is clear only in retrospect, and it’s rarely a straight line.”
You may gather from my accent that I was not born here in Australia. I was born in Miami, Florida, into a family who had emigrated from Russia to America, 50 years before. The life maps of children of immigrants are often shaped by the dreams of their parents and grandparents who have travelled to a new land in pursuit of religious freedom, economic opportunity and civil liberty. No matter where our families have come from, most of us can recall elder relatives who undertook enormous hardships in hopes that the next generation might live in a country offering sustenance, education, and peace. My family was no different. And my aspirations for my own children, the next generation, are exactly the same.
My family’s strong commitment to women’s education and equity influenced me from a young age. The women in my family – my mother, grandmother, aunties and cousins — were very active in women’s organizations and social justice movements. I learned that women could achieve by working together for a common goal, no matter their personal differences, motivations, politics, faith, or background. And that sometimes, audacity and boldness were essential qualities, in order to be heard.
My PhD research is based with the Stillbirth Research team at Mater Research Institute and School of Public Health at the University of Queensland. In Australia, for every 135 births, there is one stillbirth. Stillbirth can have lifelong and devastating consequences for the emotional and physical health of women.
The majority of stillbirths are preceded by a mother’s perception of a change in her baby’s movements. I am analyzing outcomes of a clinical trial called My Baby’s Movements. One aspect of the trial offers women information about fetal movement through a mobile application. My research will offer new insight into how innovative, patient-centred mobile tools may contribute to more Australian women coming home from the hospital with a healthy baby.
Support on a personal and institutional level is instrumental in providing much-needed funds, and for building the confidence of, women who have big dreams, big potential and big contributions to make. It was a true honour to receive the NCWQ bursary this year and to meet the other recipients at the awards ceremony. These women represent a breadth of backgrounds, pursuits, stories, challenges, and dreams. If you supported the bursary programs in the past, as well as the investment you have made toward individual women, you have invested in a rising generation of women leaders for this state.
I contacted this year’s recipients and asked them to share 3 words describing their feelings on the evening of the awards ceremony. In order of how frequently they were cited, allow me to share them with you.
1 AwedBursary recipients represent a broad range of academic and vocational fields. Public Health. Nursing and aged care. Law. Teaching. Agriculture. Carpentry. History. Engineering. Music. Journalism. International development.
And their characteristics are wide-reaching. Women hoping to graduate from apprenticeships. Bachelors degrees. Masters degrees, PhDs. Women who show their strength in different ways while pursuing their education. Women traversing the challenges of their own mental health or physical abilities. Women who find a way to push forward, push ahead. Women who are also caring for family members in need, with young children, partners or elders with cancer. Women studying far from home. Women with refugee backgrounds. Indigenous leaders. Women transitioning to independence after foster care. Women who have experienced domestic violence.
And amongst them all, women who stand out as working hard to make a difference to others, while also building their own confidence, skills and networks toward success. I also asked this group to share a few sentences about how the NCWQ bursary has impacted their educational goals or attainment. Their responses have been compiled in this “word cloud”, which I encourage you to take a look at today. Please indulge me as I weave together some of this narrative and come to a close.
“The bursary has provided an important validation of my choice to study as a mature age student, with education as a lifelong pursuit.”
“It paid for equipment for my research.”
“The bursary has helped pay for expenses associated with my trip to England, where I completed two courses and gained credit towards my degree.”
“This bursary is a reassuring pat, acknowledging the effort put into my studies and in the community, and has given me more motivation to pursue my goals.”
“It has helped me travel to the USA to complete a semester of Uni on exchange. Furthermore it has reinforced that I am on the right track to reach my goals and inspired me to reach for more.”
“The bursary had a very positive impact on me, it showed me to have more faith in myself and that I can reach absolutely any goal that I set for myself. The awards night was particularly memorable. I left the room feeling empowered and inspired to make changes for women.”
“Receiving one of the NCWQ bursaries has made the financial aspect of moving away to university easier on me and my family.”
“The NCWQ bursary has made a real difference to my financial difficulties as a mature aged apprentice, and helped with fees and required tools. Since receiving the award I have completed my TAFE studies and become a qualified carpenter.”
“The NCWQ bursary has helped me to pursue my career goals towards gaining a Law degree. I have been able to purchase all my textbooks this semester, as well as a printer and stationery supplies.”
“The bursary encouraged me that others saw value and potential in what I was doing. It also inspired me to work harder- after hearing the inspirational stories of the other recipients, I want to live up to the honour given to me by the NCWQ.”
I want to thank you and your supporting organisations for giving me and other aspiring women in Queensland a boost of confidence, guidance toward achieving our goals, and funding to prepare us to learn, to lead, and succeed.
Click HERE to read the full range of 2016 Bursary Recipient responses.
NCWQ held its main function to fund its bursaries for the 2017 program on 12th October. A diverse group of nearly 200 gathered for high tea and fashions, provided by soubretpink boutique, Upper Mt Gravatt. The models sashayed their way through the range of wardrobe options, perfect for Brisbane’s climate and lifestyle.
Affiliated organisation, Brisbane City Sounds, provided entertainment through their Kit ‘n Kaboodle quartet – a female version of the Barber Shop quartet Lucky door prizes followed the theme of “Acknowledging Queensland Women in the Arts”.
The WOW factor came from 2016 recipient of the inaugural Tracy Davis MP bursary, Lisa Daly. A PhD student working at the Mater to develop an app that will allow regional and rural women to better monitor their pregnancies, thus reducing stillbirths, talked of her own journey so far. She had also gathered information from the wider group of 2016 bursary recipients, to form their feedback into a “wordcloud”. This visual representation reinforced, to us all the significance of the bursary program to the recipients, not only financially, but to their personal growth.
The success of this function ensures NCWQ’s continuing sponsorship in the 2017 bursary program.
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
Just a reminder that all candidates must submit their bursary applications before the 4th of April. We have 20 bursaries on offer so make sure you check out the bursaries page for more information. We look forward to receiving your applications! Good luck!