Published on 25 June 2012
Regional and Urban Planning student Susan Brown of Beerwah is definitely going places after attracting the attention of Queensland’s Department of Transport and Main Roads.
The 37-year-old University of the Sunshine Coast student was recently accepted into the department’s scholarship program after meeting the selection criteria of having a high grade point average and passing a lengthy interview process.
The scholarship program is providing Susan with a living allowance, an education allowance and 24 weeks of employment over two years.
The third-year student, who has two young children, said the Queensland Government scholarship would help her manage her work, university and family commitments.
“I was very happy to receive the scholarship as it has taken the pressure off me having to look for a job and is also allowing me to implement my studies in the workplace,” she said.
“My previous employment in the defence force gave me a good base for juggling a lot of commitments and the discipline to drive myself to do well.”
Susan completed her first 12-week work placement with the Department of Transport and Main Roads in November 2011. One of her main roles was to examine the infrastructure needs of the planned Moreton Bay Rail Link.
“I was involved in transport planning for the new rail line from Redcliffe to Kallangur,” she said.
“This included looking at the design of the railway stations and how the architecture should reflect the area, and also the travel behaviour of commuters.”
Susan left an administrative job in with the Royal Australian Air Force in search of a career change. She had planned to study in Brisbane but changed her mind after visiting USC’s Sippy Downs campus.
“As soon as I saw USC, I liked it, and I knew I wanted to study there,” she said.
Associate Professor in Regional and Urban Planning Johanna Rosier commended Susan on gaining the scholarship and her determination to succeed.
“We are very grateful to the Department of Transport and Main Roads for giving our students the opportunity to work while they are studying,” Dr Rosier said.
Susan was also awarded a Planning Institute of Australia Student Academic Prize on 29 May at the launch of the 26th Queensland Awards for Planning Excellence at Parliament House.
This prize recognises Susan’s academic achievements as a second-year student at USC in 2011.
— Michelle Widdicombe