Sibling rivalry is just par for the course for CQUni Bachelor of Education students Elliot and Bronte Wills. The close-knit brother and sister pair love a good competition, but despite their ambitious natures, they are also very supportive of each other.
What inspired you both to study education?
BRONTE: I have always wanted to become a teacher – I just felt, for some reason, that it was my calling in life. I am very grateful for the teachers I had, and the opportunities that my school afforded to me, and I would love to think that one day, I could be that for someone else.
ELLIOT: I was inspired to become a teacher after seeing the success that my mother had in this profession. The life she has brought to my sister and I, not only presented great and quirky opportunities for us as children, it has set us on a long road of success. Another inspiration of mine is to close the gap between non-Indigenous and Indigenous students. It is a great passion of mine to watch people grow and mature, especially the local Indigenous peoples of our land.
Is/was either of your parents, or grandparents, teachers?
Yes, our mother was a teacher for over 30 years. She trained as a Home Economics teacher, and is currently on leave from her job as Deputy Principal at the local school both of us attended. Our uncle, and his wife, are also teachers; as well as our aunty on our father’s side. We often say that it is Mum: 2 and Dad: Nil, because Mum got two teachers, and Dad got no engineers.
Do you, or have you, experienced any sibling rivalry? 🙂
We both (unfortunately) have a very competitive nature. Being only 16 months apart in age, most things have been a competition for us right from when we were little. Whether it was a race around the house, who got the most medals at a sporting event, or who could get their seat belt on first, we would turn EVERYTHING and ANYTHING into a competition.
Although academic-wise, whilst there have been moments of tears and despair when one is not doing as well as the other, our parents have always reminded us (and continually do at 19 and 20 years of age) that life is not a competition, and that we are both smart, and will be successful in different ways. We use our different strengths to help and empower one another (even when it results in bickering). The question that our parents always ask us is “Did you try your best?”, and whilst that may mean one (or both of us) didn’t win, we gave the best we had, and we were winners in our parent’s eyes.
Do you help/support each other in your studies?
I am [Bronte], one year ahead of Elliot at University, so I often do support/help him when he is having difficulty to understand a new concept – only because I was at that stage the previous year, and I know exactly how he is feeling.
We both support each other in an emotional sense. We share a lot of inside jokes from our childhood, so you will often find us laughing about that or some distant memory we have. We have a lot of love, respect and admiration for one another (even after I pushed him into a brick wall and cracked his head open when we were two and three – in a no doubt competitive situation). Our closeness in age has really allowed us to lean on one another for support, especially since now we both live away from our parents.
What made you study at CQUni?
BRONTE: CQUni is the only university that offered my course – I am studying to be a Home Economics teacher. I was really desperate to go to Brisbane, but in hindsight, I am very glad I came to Rockhampton as I now know I would have just been a ‘fish out of water’ in the big city.
ELLIOT: I too, like Bronte, wanted to go to University in Brisbane. However, my parents (gently…ish) persuaded me to come to CQUni like my sister, so that we were both in the same location (given our home town is seven hours away from Rocky, this in hindsight made sense). CQUni was always a consideration because my mother, in her profession, worked with many pre-service teachers from CQUni’s education program. She always spoke very highly of the University’s education program.
What are your career plans for the future?
Our plans for the future are to become secondary school teachers in our respective fields (Bronte – Home Economics and History; Elliot – Physical Education and Biology). We also have other dreams we would like to achieve at some point. I am very interested in working in the fashion industry; and Elliot too is interested in working in film and photography. We are both very thankful for the opportunities that CQUni have afforded us, and we look forward to seeing where they will take us in the future.