Recently appointed as one of CQUni’s five new Change Champions to promote social innovation, Mackay Laws student Caitlin Petersen has plenty of experience being an ambassador for her community. She’s been a Global Voices delegate to the UN Climate Change Conference in Morocco, is a Queensland Youth Parliament representative, volunteers with a range of local organisations, and is passionate about how social innovation can invigorate rural and regional areas.
What was a recent highlight in your life?
Being selected to represent my electorate at the Queensland Youth Parliament as the Youth Member for Mirani, and then being elected by my peers to the position of Minister for Primary Industries and the Environment.
Who has made an impact on your life and why?
My mum who has been my biggest supporter, no matter how strenuous or crazy my ideas may sound. She has encouraged me to follow my passions, regardless of the limitations others might try to impose upon me, and to put 100% into everything I do. My determination and persistence is thanks to her support.
The weekend is free – what do you do?
Study! No rest for the wicked unfortunately.
If you could solve any social issue in your community, what would you tackle first?
Mental health. The issue is widespread and far reaching, affecting all aspects of the community.
How are you changing the world?
I think we all have our own part to play in creating lasting change. Whilst I do my part by volunteering with important causes, and advocating for those without a voice, it takes everyone doing their part to really change this world.
Describe the greatest moment of your life so far?
Attending the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change in Marrakech, Morocco, as a Global Voices Scholar for CQUniversity. The entire experience was amazing and completely unforgettable. I strongly advise all students to apply for the Global Voices program next semester – you won’t regret it!
What is a motto or phrase you live by?
“When you reach an obstacle, turn it into an opportunity. You have the choice. You can overcome and be a winner, or you can allow it to overcome you and be a loser. The choice is yours and yours alone. Refuse to throw in the towel. Go that extra mile that failures refuse to travel. It is far better to be exhausted from success than to be rested from failure.” — Mary Kay Ash.
If your office was burning down, what would be the one thing you grabbed on the way out the door?
My diary, I would be absolutely lost without it!