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Footsteps lead to higher education

FOLLOWING in her adored grandmother’s footsteps with higher education has Kelly McBride of Nikenbah bursting with pride.

“I’ve got big shoes to fill,” Ms McBride beamed at yesterday’s NAIDOC Week celebration at University of Southern Queensland (USQ) Fraser Coast.

The 29-year-old Butchulla woman, who recently started the USQ Bachelor of Nursing program, is the grand-daughter of Aunty Irene McBride, last year’s USQ Indigenous Service Alumnus of the Year.

 Aunty Irene holds a Master of Education and coordinates the Vacation Care program at Hervey Bay’s Scrub Hill.

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First-year nursing student Kelly McBride celebrates NAIDOC Week at USQ Fraser Coast.

She is also a member of USQ Fraser Coast’s Buallum Jarl-Bah Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Engagement Committee (BATEC), an advisory group made up of Butchulla Elders, community members and USQ personnel who promote education to local Indigenous people.

“Aunty Irene is an excellent role model and does a lot for the community,” Ms McBride said.

Inspired by her grandmother’s achievements, the former Aboriginal medical receptionist is now taking the next step in her education journey.

“I have wanted to work in the health industry since leaving Year 12. I like working with my people so I thought university was the next level and started a degree.”

Ms McBride was among the dozens of University students, staff and community members who gathered at USQ Fraser Coast in Hervey Bay to celebrate NAIDOC (National Aborigines and Islanders Day Observation Committee) Week.

USQ Vice-Chancellor and President Professor Jan Thomas said NAIDOC Week celebrated the history, culture and achievements of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.

“This year’s theme We all Stand on Sacred Ground: Learn, Respect and Celebrate is an opportunity to pay respects to country, honour those who work tirelessly on preserving land, sea and culture, and to share the stories of significant places,” Professor Thomas said.

NAIDOC Week celebrations were also held at USQ campuses in Toowoomba, Springfield and Ipswich with traditional Indigenous performances and foods on offer.

At USQ Fraser Coast, foods included Damper, Lemon Myrtle Pancakes, Spicy Barramundi Pieces and Kangaroo Tartlets.

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Sampling the traditional Aboriginal food at USQ Fraser Coast’s NAIDOC Week celebration are (l-r) Butchulla Elder Uncle Ian Wheeler, visitor Kayla Monaghan, Campus Executive Manager Brett Langabeer, student Kelly McBride, staff member Deanna Eastall and student Rachael Bayley.

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Inspiring others to live the nursing dream

KALILLA Haffejee of Hervey Bay is living her dream of becoming a nurse.

Kalilla Haffejee shares her gradate experiences with the 2015 cohort of final-year university nursing students.

Kalilla Haffejee shares her gradate experiences with the 2015 cohort of final-year university nursing students.

Having graduated with a Bachelor of Nursing through University of Southern Queensland (USQ) last year, Ms Haffejee is part of a registered graduate nurse program at St Stephen’s Hospital in Hervey Bay.

“I’m really enjoying the program – it’s great,” Ms Haffejee said, after inspiring about 30 final-year nursing students at USQ recently about her passion for health care.

Ms Haffejee, 25, was one of three graduate nurses to form a panel of speakers who shared their experiences working in hospitals and other health organisations.

The trio also answered questions on all aspects of the profession ranging from how they felt on their first day at work to shift rotation practises and arranging indemnity insurances.

“My education and training at USQ definitely set me in good stead to go onto this graduate position,” Ms Haffejee said.

“I am fortunate to now be in a position where I can apply the knowledge and skills I learnt through my degree.”

Included in the day’s events were presentations from USQ Associate Professor Clint Maloney and Career Development Officer Michael Coleborn as well as representatives from Queensland Health, St Stephens Hospital, Australian Defence Force, Blue Care, UQ Medicine and Wide Bay Mental Health.

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Feature photo: University of Southern Queensland (USQ) Fraser Coast.

Twin talk gives Granville kids the giggles

GRANVILLE State Primary School students don’t need an eye exam when they see identical teachers. They really are seeing double!

University of Southern Queensland (USQ) graduands Carla and Rachel Frohloff are Prac teaching at the Maryborough school in 2015 – Carla in Year 3 and Rachel in Year 5/6.

After completing four years of university studies last November, the 21-year-old identical twins will graduate with Bachelors of Education majoring in Health and Physical Education in Maryborough on May 16.

“We’re so lucky to get jobs so quickly after finishing our studies,” Carla said.

“So many people say it’s hard to get a teaching job or that you’ll have to move hours away, so it’s great to have jobs so close to home, for now anyway. We don’t know where we’ll be teaching next year yet.”

Born in Hervey Bay, Rachel and Carla attended Kawungan primary and Urangan high schools before enrolling at USQ.

Although the twins now work side by side with the same university degree at Granville State Primary School, the higher education paths they took to get there were varied.

“I went through so many changes with QTAC because I kept changing my mind,” Rachel said.

“We originally chose different degrees but in the end we both went with teaching. Then we both considered secondary teaching but ended up going with primary.

“We also looked at different majors but eventually we both decided to specialise in health and physical education.”

The similarities between the sisters are not lost on their students.

“Most just say ‘Hello Ms Frohloff’ but if its Carla’s student and they know it’s me, they’ll have a little giggle afterwards because they think it’s funny to say it to me as well,” Rachel said.

“One student said ‘You look a lot like the other Ms Frohloff’. I replied ‘Why do you think that?’ and he said ‘Because you’ve got the same body!’

“They’re very curious and often ask questions at weird times. I had one student ask on parade if I shared a house with my sister. The thoughts strike them at random times and they just have to ask.

“Other things they want to know include if we’re twins or just sisters, if we live together and if we share a car.”

Carla said their experiences at USQ Fraser Coast prepared them well for answering such questions from children.

“Being on-campus university students at USQ Fraser Coast in Hervey Bay was good with us doing education,” Carla said.

“We wanted to be teachers so we could experience working with kids on Open Days and through the Smart Steps program, which was aimed at upper primary school students.”

Caption: Random questions from students at Granville State Primary School often amuse identical twin teachers Rachel (left) and Carla Frohloff.