5 December 2016
University of the Sunshine Coast Education students have been strongly encouraged to consider working in country classrooms by a philanthropist who has a passion for supporting rural and remote parts of Queensland.
Prominent businessman Tim Fairfax AC provided 42 Tim Fairfax Family Foundation Rural and Remote Education Bursaries to USC students this year, as well as two $20,000 Regional Scholarships for students with rural backgrounds to study at the University.
During a ceremony on campus last week, Mr Fairfax personally congratulated the regional scholarship winners and chatted with a number of the students who received the education bursaries.
These bursaries assisted those who completed preservice placements in towns such as Innisfail, Blackwater, Cherbourg and Roma. Among them was final-year student Hannah Andrews, who described the experience of working out west as invaluable.
“I travelled to Roma for my placement along with two other students,” she said. “My time there completely opened my eyes to what living and working in a rural area was like.
“We’ve all had very different experiences on our placements, but the consistent thing was that we’ve all loved it and grown vastly as teachers, so I want to thank Tim Fairfax.”
The bursaries, worth up to $2,500 each, are awarded on the basis of academic merit and performance on prior teaching placements.
Roma State College principal Anthony Green, who travelled from South West Queensland to attend the presentation, said he was impressed by the USC student teachers who had completed placements at his school.
“In 2017, 10 percent of my teaching staff will be USC students who were Tim Fairfax bursary recipients,” Mr Green said. “That’s no small feat.
“These bursaries make a huge difference. They give the students hands-on teaching experience as well as dispelling some myths about living and working in a rural setting.”
For more information about scholarships at USC, visit usc.edu.au/learn.
— Gen Kennedy