FUN: Gene Punzalan, Majella Mahon and Jetayah Chalk enjoy their time at St Mary's Outside School Hours Care centre.
FUN: Gene Punzalan, Majella Mahon and Jetayah Chalk enjoy their time at St Mary's Outside School Hours Care centre. Meg Bolton

She's one of the best, now she has one less worry to juggle

AT 19 years old Majella Mahon has been pegged as one of Queensland's best.

She looks after more than 30 children at least three times a week and plays an instrumental role in ensuring they are engaged, learning and active at St Mary's Outside School Hours Care centre.

"It's fun and there's no point doing something if you're not going to enjoy it,” Majella said.

The Alpha teen juggles her casual job with a full-time degree in early childhood teaching at CQUniversity, which will allow her to continue her passion working with children.

While her role is to help others, Majella recently found herself asking for assistance to support her day-to-day.

"There's a lot of costs that come from living on your own and going to university that you don't account for when you apply,” she said.

She was one of six young women to apply for the Lavis/Wilson Queensland Child Watch Committee Bursary, but Majella was named as the top contender.

Last week she was presented with the certificate to certify her $1,000 cheque.

Sponsored by The Queensland Child Watch Committee that folded in 2014, the bursary is a legacy to ensure young children and their families receive quality early childhood care.

Past member of The Queensland Child Watch Committee Jenny Land presented Majella with the certificate.

She said Majella was a stand-out applicant who displayed cheerfulness and great potential.

"She had the qualities of someone who was going to go forward in her career,” Mrs Land said.

St Mary's Outside School Hours Care coordinator Nadene Hottes said Majella was one of the best young professionals she's worked with.

"She's one of the people who we call a responsible person in charge,” Mrs Hottes said.

"She can do all the same things I can do. If I'm not here or the second in charge is not here she can steps into the role.”

Majella has been working at the centre since January when she moved from Alpha to Rockhampton to pursue her dreams.

Since starting she hasn't looked back, talking to the children is the highlight of her day.

"We have a good laugh. They always say the funniest things and I'm on the same level as them in some regards,” Majella said.

Majella will use the money from the bursary to buy books and support herself during her studies, a goal she set herself when she was 15.

The National Council of Women of Queensland committee selected the bursary winners. They were formed in 1905 and is actively involved in many areas impacting the life of women.



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