Marie’s passion to create positive change inspires family members to return to study

My name is Marie Dennis, and I would like to extend my gratitude for being awarded an Australian South Sea Islander Community Foundation Scholarship.

I am an Aboriginal South Sea Islander woman from Ayr North Queensland. I draw my South Sea Islander connection to Ambae Island. My family and I are in the middle of planning a trip back to the island to meet extended family that we have never met and to have the opportunity to embrace that part of my ancestry much more.

I am currently studying a Bachelor of Primary Education (Primary); I have a passion to bring Indigenous knowledge into the curriculum as a foundation for learning in the classrooms. I am also a participant in the Teachers of STEM initiative with the Stronger Smarter Institute who provide extra support and mentoring during my study time.

Me going back to study has encouraged several others in our family to go back to study also. We have plans to be able to use our qualifications to work together in one day would be a culturally safe schooling environment for at risk and vulnerable children and families.

This scholarship will give me the leisure of being able to prioritise my study over having to worry too much about getting a job to make up the extra income needed to secure our living arrangements. I will now also be able to take up another unit for the semester as I will have a bit more time on my hands. This is extremely exciting as it will mean that I will be able me to finish my degree a little bit early than originally planned.

Thank you so much. I appreciate the support.

The CQUniCares Scholarship program changes lives and CQUni is grateful to partner with foundations like the Queensland Community Foundation who share the University’s passion for making a difference in the lives of our students, their families and our communities.

Term 2, 2021 applications for the Australian South Sea Islander Community Foundation Scholarship and many other scholarships close Friday, 11 June. For further information, including eligibility criteria, please visit

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