USQ Fraser Coast students Tor-quaisia Robe-Broome and Kassandra Waia have been honoured in the 2015 Fraser Coast NAIDOC Week Awards.
Ms Robe-Broome, who completed the Indigenous Higher Education Pathways Program (IHEPP) in Semester 1, 2015, received the Young Leader Award which recognised a young person who has through employment, education or training been active in taking the lead on Indigenous Australian issues.
Ms Waia, a USQ nursing student, won the Deadly Choices Award which recognised a person who had taken the time to promote health and well-being throughout the Indigenous Australian community via their own example, education or awareness.
USQ Vice Chancellor and President Professor Jan Thomas congratulated the young women on their successes.
“NAIDOC Week is a time to celebrate Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander history, culture and achievements and is an opportunity to recognise the contributions that Indigenous Australians such as Tor-quaisia and Kassandra make to our Country and our society,” Professor Thomas said.
Ms Robe-Broome, 18, said winning the Young Leader Award was “very exciting”.
“It feels good to be recognised – it means a lot,” she said.
“I didn’t realise how much I wanted to do stuff like this for the community. Winning this award has made me more determined to keep doing it.”
Fraser Coast NAIDOC Committee Chairperson Leon Nehow said Ms Robe-Broome was a positive and inspirational role model to young people.
“This year Tor-quaisia successfully completed a Traineeship and Certificate lll in Community Services at the Department of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Partnerships.
“Since completing this certificate, Tor-quaisia enrolled in further studies at USQ and has also gained employment.
“She has also been nominated in two categories as finalist for the 2015 Queensland Training Awards, which is the highest State level of recognition of excellence for trainees.
“Tor-quaisia is an inspiration as she has undertaken these achievements at a young age, while also being a young mother.
“She maintains a steadfast belief that she is doing all she can to provide the best opportunities in life for her young family.
Mr Leon Nehow said Ms Waia also deserved to be recognised as she had excelled with distinction by studying nursing and promoting her findings to expand Indigenous people’s health and well-being.
“Kassandra is a fantastic role model and also teaches Indigenous young people about culture.
“She presents a positive role model by sharing her knowledge, sets a high example by mentoring and is a quiet achiever.
“Kassandra, we commend your hard work and dedication.”
During the award ceremony, USQ Executive Manager Brett Langabeer presented Acting Police Sergeant Vanessa Rudloff with the Acknowledgement Award in recognition of her dedication to education within the community.
Mr Nehow said Acting Sergeant Rudloff had entered into the local Indigenous Australian community without prejudice and educated the people.
“She also attends meetings regularly and her efforts are commended.”
Photo: USQ Indigenous Higher Education Pathways Program (IHEPP) student Tor-quaisia Robe-Broome proudly shows her 2015 NAIDOC Week Young Leader Award.