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Bursary winner Abby keen to expand work with Indigenous peoples

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As Queensland’s only recipient of the Lambert McBride Perpetual Education Bursary this year, CQUniversity Psychology student Abby Louis plans to make a difference for Indigenous peoples.

Ms Louis has been announced as the 2014 winner of the $5000 Bursary, established by the Queensland Government to recognise the 40th anniversary of the 1967 Constitutional referendum.

The Bursary, open to Indigenous students in their second or third-year at any Queensland tertiary institution, is named in honour of the late Lambert McBride – an advocate and lobbyist for Queensland Indigenous rights.

“Through my studies I am developing a complex understanding of the issues which need to be overcome in order to remove the disparity between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians, from both individual and societal levels,” Rockhampton Campus-based Ms Louis says.

“Choosing to do several electives, in Sociology and Indigenous issues, has helped me to gain a broader understanding, rather than the individual-focused nature of psychology alone.

“I firmly support the notion of Indigenous self-determination, and plan on basing my career in Humanistic Psychology around the concept of self-actualisation, helping people to overcome the obstacles that prevent them from reaching their full potential as individuals.”

Ms Louis says she is completing a degree that will enable her to begin a professional career helping and inspiring others.

“Although it’s hard at times, I’m so glad I took the leap from full-time employment to student. The whole experience has been so rewarding.”

CQUniversity Pro Vice-Chancellor (Indigenous Engagement) Professor Bronwyn Fredericks says Abby has shown a tremendous commitment towards her study and her career goals and is a role model for others who are thinking about undertaking study.

After undertaking a Cert 111 in Community Services and successfully completing university preparation courses, Abby made the decision to undertake a Bachelor of Psychology. She is also a mother of young children, works part-time as a support worker at Gumbi Gumbi Alcohol Rehabilitation Service, Rockhampton, and is completing a cadetship with the Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC).

“There is no doubt that Abby is a hard-working and dedicated student and well and truly worthy of the Bursary,” says Prof Fredericks.

Abby says she is honoured to have been selected as the recipient of the Lambert McBride Perpetual Education Bursary.

“Ultimately, the Bursary will assist me in achieving my goal of completing university, and my broader goals working with Indigenous peoples and communities in the future,” she says.

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