Bush to beach for Fairfax scholar - University of the Sunshine Coast, Queensland, Australia

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Bush to beach for Fairfax scholar

24 Apr 2020

From the dry heat of Chinchilla to the humid conditions of the Sunshine Coast, Tim Fairfax Regional Scholarship recipient Nikita Densley says she’s loving her recent sea change to study a double degree at USC.

One of just two first-year students at USC to be awarded the prestigious grant, the Chinchilla State High School graduate has enrolled in a Bachelor of Business/Bachelor of Creative Industries.

Founded more than 10 years ago by philanthropist and pastoralist Tim Fairfax AM to support remote or regional undergraduates, the scholarship is worth up to $20,000 and is paid in $2,500 instalments each semester.

Nikita, who graduated last year with an OP 4, said the funding support gave her a feeling of immense opportunity.

“Coming from a rural area like Chinchilla and growing up originally in Katherine in the Northern Territory, you sometimes don’t think about what exists elsewhere and what other opportunities might look like,” she said.

“This scholarship signifies to me that there’s people out there that really want to see me succeed and that’s a great feeling to have.”

A standout student in biology and science throughout high school, the 18-year-old said she realised her love for writing and editing when completing essays across all subjects at school.

“When I saw that USC was offering publishing as part of their creative industries offering, it really piqued my interest, as I love reviewing other pieces of work and offering feedback and edits,” she said.

“I decided to combine this study with business as well to make me as employable as possible when I finish university.”

Nikita said her decision to study at USC was sealed after she attended an Open Day event last July.

“The university had a less stressful feel surrounding it compared to other uni campuses I had looked at,” she said.

“Discovering how many support services for students were available made me feel less worried about coping with pressure of studying, too.”

Nikita has transitioned to technology-enabled learning until social distancing restrictions are lifted and she can return to campus.

- Megan Woodward

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