The road to university and graduation was tough for Nareeta Davis; but determination, dedication and support saw her excel in her Bachelor of Laws – and now she’s passing her lessons on to current students.
Nareeta says the support and guidance of CQUni’s Indigenous Student Support (ISS) team was invaluable during her six-year study journey.
“I realised within the first month of my course that I needed some help,” Nareeta remembers.
“I called the Indigenous Student Support team and was almost in tears because I was so overwhelmed with the expectations and workload required to undertake such a significant degree.”
It was the first of many such calls. “Often I just needed a person to chat to and provide a happy lending ear. At other times, the team would just call me and see if there was anything they could do to assist me. Just knowing that the support was there was such a comfort and encouraged me to persevere.”
When a family tragedy occurred just days before a crucial exam, the ISS team were there to advocate for an extension on Nareeta’s behalf. At other times, the team guided Nareeta towards scholarships (which she successfully applied for), counselling (to talk through a particularly frustrating study experience), and tutoring (including weekly home visits from a practising lawyer).
Recognising the impact this support had on her study experience, Nareeta is now giving back, tutoring Indigenous students and providing them with her wisdom and experience gained from her journey – which wasn’t an easy path.
Nareeta completed CQUni’s Tertiary Entry Program (TEP) before undertaking a Bachelor of Laws, and – like many CQUni students – was juggling work and family commitments along the way.
“As a child, I hated school and believed academic study was only for “smart people” and those who had money,” she recalls. “My school years weren’t easy and I encountered many obstacles, including doubt and criticism from my teachers.”
“When I started at CQUniversity, I made a promise to myself that I would swallow my pride from day one and utilise every opportunity that was available for me to succeed. Failure was not an option as I had two young children that were watching me, and I knew that studying was an opportunity for them and others never to give up.”
Nareeta’s perseverance paid off: in 2017, Nareeta received the Associate Vice-Chancellor’s Medal at her home campus of Cairns, in recognition of her outstanding achievements and contribution to the CQUni community. Nareeta is now a Masters candidate and a soon-to-be-admitted solicitor.
Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students can contact the Indigenous Support Team for support including tutoring, advice on scholarships and cadetships and course information.
All CQUniversity students and graduates can sign up to the University’s mentoring platform, CQUni Career Connection, to receive or give advice on study, job searches, career preparation and more. Students can sign up to receive advice, and graduates can sign up to receive or give advice.