It took a leap of faith for Gunalda beef producer Leanne North to add studying an Accounting degree at USC Gympie to her busy lifestyle, and now she is netting the rewards.
Ms North, 36, was awarded a University Commendation for Academic Excellence when she graduated recently from USC with a Bachelor of Commerce (Accounting).
Earlier this year, she received two Faculty of Arts, Business and Law awards and prizes for her impressive academic results.
Ms North said she was thrilled by her success, especially because she initially lacked the confidence to begin her degree.
“I had worked in accounting since leaving Caboolture’s Tullawong State High in 1998 and had substantial industry experience, but no qualifications,” she said.
“I kept putting off starting a degree until around four years ago, after a local auditor I worked with helped me take the leap of faith and enrol at USC’s Gympie campus.”
Taking a flexible approach to study helped her to juggle other commitments, including managing a Charbray beef cattle grazing property with her husband Ben at Gunalda, north of Gympie, and working for a chartered accountancy firm in Gympie.
“It took some time to finish my degree with a young family, a small business and farm, but I was able to work part-time, complete subjects over the university summer break and switch between part-time and full-time study,” she said.
“Studying close to home at USC’s Gympie campus was an advantage and I liked the small classes and the great assistance that I received from staff.
“The campus has great facilities with easy access to USC’s main campus at Sippy Downs.”
Next on Ms North’s agenda is a "family gap year" to fulfil a dream of travelling Australia with her family, before returning to the region to work as an accountant.
“I also love the idea of being involved in a business that allows people to live their life with adventure and fun,” she said. “I plan to use my Commerce degree and my new-found confidence to bring these things together.”
People interested in studying at USC can go to usc.edu.au/learn for advice on how to choose a course, build study skills and apply to QTAC.
— Clare McKay
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