A Bachelor of Business student inspired by her mother’s saying ‘knowledge is power’ is one of three University of the Sunshine Coast students to receive a Unitywater scholarship.
Mel Farmer, who is combining full-time work at Sunshine Coast Council with her second year of study at UniSC, received the utility’s Bright Future for First Nation Students Scholarship, which was first offered in 2022.
Unitywater CEO Anna Jackson said, “Mel is a passionate, proud and driven First Nations woman from the Yuin nation in New South Wales.
“This extraordinary woman studies and works full-time while raising three children, one of whom is living with a disability.”
Ms Farmer welcomed the opportunity to encourage more support for First Nations people.
“In the future, I would like to see more diverse and inclusive workplaces, with all the doors of opportunity open to First Nations people, and I commend Sunshine Coast Council for their efforts in this space,” she said.
“’Knowledge is power’ is a saying my mum used when I was growing up and she is so right.
“I plan on using my degree to make a difference in the business sector and inspire others to embrace study and better themselves.
“The goal is to use my degree to gain a senior management role focused on strategic thinking and problem-solving all while incorporating diversity and inclusivity.”
Ms Jackson presented Unitywater’s second Fiona Waterhouse Women in STEM Scholarship to UniSc Environmental Science student Caitlyn Turner.
Ms Turner said she aimed to make a difference in creating a cleaner and safer environment for animals and humans.
“I would like to contribute towards creating positive changes in our environment, whether that be from a desk or out in the field, and water really is the central factor surrounding this,” she said.
Ms Jackson said the scholarship honoured late Unitywater Board Member Fiona Waterhouse and her passion for proving that people could make a mark in any industry, regardless of their gender.
“Fiona had a deep commitment to the development of Australian women and First Nations peoples and this scholarship promotes her legacy,” she said.
UniSC student Jake Paskins, who joined Unitywater as a vacation student in November, received its Bright Future in Engineering Scholarship.
“I am getting hands-on experience working part-time in the capital works planning team while I complete my dual degree in Civil Engineering and Environmental Science at UniSc,” he said.
Ms Jackson said: “As one of the largest employers and service providers in the Sunshine Coast, Noosa and Moreton Bay, Unitywater is proud to offer opportunities like scholarships to support some of our region’s brightest students.
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