School leaver sets sights on making a difference | UniSC | University of the Sunshine Coast, Queensland, Australia

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School leaver sets sights on making a difference

Aldridge State High School high achiever Vivienne Perry completed high school with a clear career focus – to ‘pay it forward’ by becoming a social worker.

“My ultimate career goal is to support youth, families and Indigenous people,” said Vivienne,18, who began a four-year Bachelor of Social Work at the University of the Sunshine Coast’s Fraser Coast campus this semester.

USC’s Social Work degree, which offers a blend of academic learning with extensive work experience, has become increasingly popular with Fraser Coast students enrolling to study locally.

The program prepares graduates for work across a range of fields including health and mental health, child protection and disability, substance abuse and family violence.

It was introduced as a full degree at the Fraser Coast campus in 2020 in response to a growing need for qualified professionals to help improve mental health and wellbeing in the region.

Vivienne, an Aldridge State High School dux nominee, said her parents were her main inspiration for choosing to pursue a career as a social worker.

“Although they aren’t social workers, they have made me the person I am today through the advice they’ve given me and the support and care they’ve shown friends when they have gone through difficult times,” she said.

“I simply want to pay it forward and be able to help people.

“I believe that everyone deserves to have a fair life and should be treated equally especially those who have nowhere to go or no one else to turn to.”

She said having the option to study locally provided her with the opportunity to gain qualifications for a rewarding career without having to leave her home town.

“I am able to continue living at home, and transport is easily accessible. Financially, studying at Fraser Coast is more affordable and the campus and community support is incredible.”

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