Scholarship a big event for career dream
Situated on the Clarence River, the north-east New South Wales village of Tabulam has a proud First Peoples heritage, rich surrounding farmland, a nine-hole bush golf course and one horse racing meeting a year, held the Saturday after the Melbourne Cup.
It seems the quaint epitome of Australian country life.
However, growing up in Tabulam gave Courtney Wright-Stubbings a profound understanding of how even the most picturesque exterior is not necessarily the whole picture.
“I come from a low socio-economic family in an extremely rural area and I know how hard it was at times for Mum and Dad,” says Courtney.
“My school uniforms were mostly second-hand and there was never much money.
“Plus there was something about being in a small village so far from a major town or city. Somehow it made the feeling of isolation, of being on our own, even greater.”
On a good day it takes a little over three hours to drive from that small rural village to the teeming city of Brisbane, where Courtney is now based as she pursues a Bachelor of Business at Griffith University.
As a recipient of a Griffith Futures Scholarship, Courtney’s dream of becoming an Event Manager is becoming all the more real.
“It’s been such an extreme transition. At Tabulam, the school I attended only had around 150 students, and that was for high school and primary school combined,” she recalls.
“There was a grand total of 14 students in my graduating class, and now I find myself at a university with thousands of students and in a city with millions of people.”
Courtney was Dux in her final year at high school and so receiving a Griffith Futures Scholarship reflects the continuing high standard of her educational performance.
The scholarships are awarded to students who are excelling in their studies despite facing financial or personal hardship.
“I don’t receive any financial help from family or friends and I rely on Centrelink payments to meet the costs of my on-campus accommodation, university fees, textbooks and food,” says Courtney.
“I was so grateful when the news of the scholarship came through. When I told Mum and Dad, they just couldn’t stop smiling.
“It’s amazing to think that people I don’t even know have been generous enough to donate their money and support students like me. I won’t let them down.
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