USC Starfish stories

Accessibility links

USC Starfish stories


We are pleased to share some experiences from USC staff and students involved in the USC Starfish Program, some as recipients and some as donors.

Staff members are embracing the USC Starfish Program and provide support for USC students via payroll deductions and donations.

Read some of the moving and inspirational stories and discover how the USC Starfish Program is really making a difference—one student at a time.

Brooke Silcox

The day I received an email saying I had been chosen to receive a Study Support Bursary, I was in disbelief. I read it over and over again just to make sure I was reading it right and then called my family to share the fantastic news. I’m extremely grateful and want to say a huge thank you to all those involved in supporting this program at USC. This Bursary has allowed myself and many others, to strive in our studies, without the financial pressures, and take every opportunity that arises because of your generosity.

You have helped students who were on the verge of giving up and have put a smile on their faces, reassuring them everything will be okay. On behalf of all the USC Study Support Bursary recipients, your kind donations have helped us achieve goals that were unreachable before, and we can’t thank you all enough.

Emma Hynes

USC Graduate (Bachelor of Nursing Science) and previous Starfish recipient

As a single mother of two young girls I attended the University of the Sunshine Coast as a full time student studying a Bachelor of Nursing Science. During my degree I was also working part time as the sole provider for my children. The USC Starfish program was a life line. The generosity of the program afforded me the opportunity to decrease my working hours, therefore allowing me more time to devote to study. The Starfish program allowed me to concentrate on my study, leading to a higher GPA. My GPA and results led to a job as a Registered Nurse here on the Sunshine Coast. Thank you to everyone who supports this program, trust me it makes a huge impact.

Amelia Anderson

Bachelor of Social Work

Receiving the USC Starfish Study Support Bursary has been my saving grace whilst on placement.

Working full time on placement can be a very demanding experience both mentally and financially. By having some extra income it has supported me to maintain my self care whilst on placement. For example, I have to drive for 30 minutes to my placement which amounts to an hour of driving a day. My petrol costs alone on limited income have been difficult.

This support bursary has covered my fuel costs and also other costs which have come with my placement. I am extremely grateful to have received this USC Starfish Study Support Bursary and I can honestly say I do not know how I would have survived without it.

Toni Casling

Bachelor of Occupational Therapy

Hi, my name is Toni, and as a recipient of a USC Starfish Study Support Bursary I would like to say THANK YOU SO MUCH for approving me to receive this scholarship. It has lifted a weight off my shoulders this semester, allowing me to cut back on my work commitments to concentrate on my studies. This was my first semester of 4 courses (I have previously studied 3 courses per semester to be able to work more hours) and it was huge relief to stress less over my finances, and stress more over my assessments! Once again thank you, Toni 

Ashlea Brennan

Bachelor of Clinical Exercise Science

I want to offer my sincerest gratitude to all those who make this scholarship possible. Without this scholarship, I would have been in significant financial hardship throughout this semester.

This year was my final year at university, and majority of it was practical placements. The opportunity to get out in the field and apply the knowledge I have gained throughout my studies and apply them to my clients and patients, is an absolutely amazing experiencing. These are people whom you learn about through clinical presentation, symptoms and case histories at university, but never know their name, how far they have had to travel for treatment and what it means to them to be able to walk with her 5 year old daughter again. These are experiences you will never forget.

Unfortunately, due to the location and hours required at these placements, I have not been able to work and hard earned savings quickly diminished. This scholarship has helped me pay for rent, groceries, food and bills accumulated throughout this extremely tough time.

I moved out of home when I was 17 to go this university, I receive no financial assistance from my family, as they are in hard times themselves. Financial stress is a major worry for everyone, add on university exams, assignments, bills, rent, and groceries. And anything else unforeseen that occurs, and you have yourself a perfect recipe for a breakdown. Luckily for me, this did not happen this year, thanks to the scholarship.

Not only has this scholarship helped me financially, but mentally and for that I am forever grateful. I have been able to fully embrace my time on placement and this will only helped me enhance my clinical skills as an Exercise Physiologist.

I know this is longer than a few words, but I felt a few words were not enough to explain the impact that this scholarship has had on my life.

Laura Bell

Bachelor of Nursing Science, USC

When I received the e-mail advising that I had been awarded the USC Study Support Bursary I felt like a huge weight had been lifted off my shoulders! I had just taken four weeks off work to undertake prac. This was very hard financially, so I was considering requesting more hours at work to stay on top of financial needs and to also save for my next prac at the end of the year.

Receiving the bursary has meant I can stop stressing about work and money. Instead I can put more time and effort into my studies, achieve my full potential and hopefully see an improvement in my academic results. I cannot describe how thankful I am that I have been awarded such a fantastic bursary! 

Nathan Luque

Bachelor of Science / Bachelor of Science (Honours)

As a recipient of the USC Study Support Bursary, I would like to say thank you to USC and the Starfish program for providing me an opportunity to make study a number one priority in my life.
I find this opportunity extremely humbling, and hope that the intent of the scholarship is realised in both my university results and work-life balance.

As a Dean's Scholar student I have been doing 5 subjects per semester, working 20-15 hrs per week as well as fulfilling several other commitments, proving near impossible. This Bursary will help me to prioritise and maximise my time for crucial study.

Joe Bellinger

Bachelor of Arts

I cannot express how grateful I am for being awarded this USC Study Support Bursary and I would like to thank each and every donor involved in the Starfish Program for their generosity.
As a permanent resident of Australia, I have to pay my tuition fees up-front. Consequently, for the past three semesters, I have had to work extensively in order to fund my studies.

The financial support that this bursary will provide me with will mean that I can reduce my work hours and focus more on my academic work. Additionally it will allow me to get further involved in the USC community. I believe that a bursary such as this greatly helps to alleviate the financial pressures that a full-time student can experience and as so, it is a credit to the University.

Danielle Harriott

Bachelor of Social Science

Thanks to receiving a USC Study Support Bursary in my final semester of my degree I have been able to lessen my hours at my job and focus on finishing my degree without so much financial stress.

Working in property management can be extremely stressful and time-consuming. Being able to have the flexibility to not work so many hours has allowed me time to both network for potential job opportunities upon completing my degree, and focus on research for my Honours post-graduate degree next year.

I am incredibly grateful for the opportunity to receive this scholarship which was contributed so positively to both my university life and life outside of study.

Kate Tasker

Bachelor of Social Science

Thank you so much for supplying me with a USC Study Support Bursary. With your support I have been able to dedicate myself more to my studies without the worry of having to work many hours to support myself. Please pass on my thanks to all involved. It will be a great relief for the coming semester to be able to dedicate more time to my studies to achieve my best.

Harriet Smith

Bachelor of Nutrition and Dietetics

Just wanted to firstly thank the Starfish organisation and USC for assisting me through this USC Study Support Bursary. Studying interstate is difficult when you have to work part time and study full time in order to pay for your bills and university expenses.

I am currently completing a Bachelor of Nutrition and Dietetics at USC and living on the Sunshine Coast. I work part time as a surf instructor and am a competitive runner – this year I have been selected as part of a team to represent Australia in the World Mountain Running Championships to be held in the USA and Italy. Balancing the training required to perform at this level along with studying, working and living out of home is difficult, especially when expenses such as petrol and education fees tend to absorb most of my income.

I am very grateful for this bursary which has enabled me to continue my sporting career and to travel overseas with the team whilst undertaking my studies. Without the bursary I wouldn't be able to make ends meet.

Back to top

Pro tip: To search, just start typing - at any time, on any page.

Searching {{ model.SearchType }} for returned more than {{ model.MaxResults }} results.
The top {{ model.MaxResults }} of {{ model.TotalItems }} are shown below.

Searching {{ model.SearchType }} for returned {{ model.TotalItems }} results.

Searching {{ model.SearchType }} for returned no results.