Mother, son receive support through scholarships
Sharing the graduation stage alongside her son is something Rockhampton’s Marni Mason never believed she would be able to do.
But thanks to the financial support received through a CQUniversity scholarship, Ms Mason made her dream a reality.
Both her and her son Tyrone Mason-Jones received scholarships which helped them balance their work and family responsibilities, take away some financial pressure and allow more time to focus on study.
“I received the CQUniCares BHP Indigenous Scholarship which was amazing,” Ms Mason said.
“Without it, I would have struggled financially.
“Thanks to the scholarship, I was able to not only attended classes but also have what was required to complete my Bachelor of Information Technology assessments and exams.
“It helped me to purchase textbooks, maintain my laptop, purchase software programs and even everyday necessities like food and petrol for the car.”
The proud Bidjara and Ghungalu woman said she had even enrolled in postgraduate study to further her career in the IT industry.
“After the amazing experience I had in my degree, I decided to enrol in Graduate Certificate in Information Technology just to add that little bit extra knowledge and qualifications under my belt while working part-time,” she said.
Mr Mason-Jones also had his sights set on further study and was now one step closer to working with the Australian Federal Police or ASIO.
“I received the CQID Scholarship in 2020 which was a big help to me financially, especially last year with the COVID-19 pandemic,” he said.
“Now I have completed my Bachelor of Psychological Science, I am looking at undertaking further study in Criminology.”
Ms Mason encouraged other Indigenous people to consider university education in 2021.
“My advice to any mums, Indigenous students and even mature age adults who are thinking about going on to study is, it’s hard,” she said.
“You can’t sugar-coat that, but with support from the Indigenous team, scholarships and other students, you can do it.”
Mr Mason-Jones agreed with his mother’s words of encouragement.
“While believing in yourself is certainly true, I think in many cases believing in yourself is easier said than done,” he said.
“It helps to know there are people out there who want to see you succeed and go places you yourself might not have even thought about.”
CQUniversity Deputy Vice-President Indigenous Engagement and BHP Chair in Indigenous Engagement, Professor Adrian Miller, said the scholarships provided more First Nations students with opportunities to attend university.
“I would encourage anyone who thinks university is out of reach due to financial barriers, to contact CQUniversity to find out more about the diverse range of scholarship opportunities available,” he said.
“A common misconception is only high achieving students are awarded scholarships, but with support from many generous donors, we are proud to provide scholarships and bursaries tailored to meet the diverse needs and circumstances of our students.
“I encourage Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students to look beyond the First Nations-focused scholarships and apply for any scholarships in their area of study.
“Many scholarships are designed to specifically assist Indigenous students through their studies and our simplified application process means you can apply for multiple opportunities with a single online form.
“While several Term 1 scholarships are closing shortly, others are open later in the year so check the website regularly.”
For more information on CQUniversity scholarships or to apply, go to www.cqu.edu.au/courses/future-students/scholarships.