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Post-school pathway success for 2023 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Students

20 May, 2024
2023 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Year 12 students celebrated their Graduation Mass last year with Diocesan Director Leesa Jeffcoat (far left) and Bishop Michael McCarthy.

2023, Year 12 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander graduates from Catholic Colleges in the Diocese of Rockhampton have reported wonderful success in their chosen pathways following their graduation last year.

Career Transitions and Pathways Project Officer for Catholic Education – Diocese of Rockhampton, Sharon Haynes said graduates had successfully gone on to university studies, apprenticeships and full-time work in various sectors including retail, mining, healthcare, construction, disability, childcare and property industries.

“In connecting with our First Nations’ students post school, I’ve been delighted to hear of their notable success whether in direct employment or pursuing further studies and training,” Mrs Haynes said. She said the many success stories included some outstanding achievements by students who had been awarded university scholarships.

“Five students successfully attained tertiary scholarships to Bond University, University of Queensland, Queensland University of Technology and Central Queensland University to support studies in their chosen field,” Mrs Haynes said. “These students are pursuing careers in Nursing, Speech Pathology, Law, Justice, International Relations, Architecture and Design and Advanced Sciences. Importantly, several of these students are the first in their families to attend university,” Mrs Haynes continued.

A significant number of students have successfully started apprenticeships in highly competitive, in-demand occupations such as electrical, diesel fitting, plumbing and cabinetmaking.  “Two students have transitioned from school-based apprenticeships to employment as full-time second year apprentices in their chosen trade which is a great head start in their future careers,” Mrs Haynes said.

Mrs Haynes said as a cohort, students had expressed their sense of gratitude for those who had supported them in their education as well as a great desire to contribute to the community and to be a good example for future generations. “All past students I have spoken to were enormously grateful to their teachers, teacher assistants and School-based Indigenous Education Liaison officers for their support and encouragement. What is most admirable, regardless of their pathway, students said they had made their choices with community well-being in mind. They were highly motivated to give back to community, to connect with community and to be role models for future generations,” Mrs Haynes said.