A St Mary’s College student with a dream to join the fight against human trafficking is among the Year 12 hopefuls who have applied for study assistance in University of Southern Queensland’s inaugural Early Round Scholarships.
Brittany Foley, daughter of former Maryborough MP and Grace Community Church Pastor Chris Foley and his wife Glenys, has applied for two scholarships – a Vice-Chancellor’s Principal’s Recommendation Scholarships of $12,000 and Future Community Leader Scholarships of $6000.
If successful, the scholarships will help steer the St Mary’s school captain towards achieving her goal to mix two careers – pastor and nurse – and work on mercy ships or mission fields in Asia.
“There are also heaps of anti-slavery groups doing really good work such as the A21 campaign, Hope for Justice and No More Traffik,” Brittany said.
The keen volunteer’s talk on human trafficking won her first place in public speaking at the recent Maryborough Eisteddfod and a spot in the state finals on the Sunshine Coast during the September school holidays.
“My speech is basically to do with the concept that every 26 seconds a child is sold into sexual slavery. That’s about 12 times in five minutes or 3456 times in a day. I compare that to how we live here.
“Human trafficking happens in Australia too but it’s a lot worse in third-world countries,” Brittany said.
“The trafficking doesn’t involve just abductions. Many third-world parents have to sell their kids so they can buy basic living needs. They think they’re selling them into work at farms and factories but they actually get sold into sexual slavery. There’s a whole big system – it’s horrible.”
Brittany is a regular member of her local church where she runs a children’s program and volunteers for community groups such as Lions and Rotary. The ballet dancer also achieved a merit in her recent Royal Academy of Dance exams.
USQ Vice-Chancellor and President Jan Thomas said almost 50 Early Round Scholarships would be awarded to Year 12 students this year for the first time ever.
“There are two new different types of new scholarships for senior students that have different benefits,” Professor Thomas said.
“Forty Vice-Chancellor’s Principal’s Recommendation Scholarships of $12,000 each are being awarded to students with high levels of academic achievement and extra-curricular activities,” she said.
“Another nine Future Community Leader Scholarships of $6000 each will go to students with high levels of involvement within their school or local communities and previous connections with USQ.”
PHOTO: St Mary’s College Year 12 student Brittany Foley dreams of joining the fight against human trafficking in Asia.