Our Rising Stars
|When you are rebuilding your life from scratch, a helping hand along the way can make a world of difference and that’s how it was for Southern Cross University Bachelor of Social Sciences student Carleen Corrie.
Carleen is thrilled to have won the 2010 SCU-Bowen Fund scholarship and said it had already made a big difference in being able to afford to pay for study materials.
The SCU-Bowen Fund was established with matched funding from local philanthropists Dr Peter and Julianne Bowen and Southern Cross University for students suffering financial disadvantage or hardship.
Carleen said she had been in real financial need when she applied for the scholarship. A single mum with two children – one of whom has special needs – Carleen has been rebuilding her life since ‘going solo’.
One of her main support networks has been the Carrie’s Place Choir of No More Knocks, a group that grew out of the local women’s refuge and resource centre.
Carleen said that once she realised she had to get out of her relationship, she was determined to try and gain financial independence and a secure future for herself and her children.
“The only way forward was education,” she said. “I knew I had to get a good education and even though I am nearly 40, I decided that going to Southern Cross University was the very best thing I could do for myself and my children.”
Carleen is enrolled in a Bachelor of Social Sciences degree which she is doing via distance education from her home near Newcastle, NSW.
“I have found it incredibly interesting and challenging and have surprised myself by doing so well and getting pleasing grades,” she said.
“Later on in my studies I hope to study domestic violence and sexual abuse and where they cross over in relationships. There is very little research out there about this grey area of relationships.
“Then I want to work both with health professionals and in schools, teaching about healthy relationships – how to recognise what is and what is not a healthy relationship and how to build and maintain them.”
The SCU-Bowen Fund, now in its second year, is an endowment invested with the Northern Rivers Community Foundation and scholarships are awarded from the fund’s investment income. Scholarships will continue to be awarded to students in the Northern Rivers Community Foundation and broader SCU footprints as the fund continues to grow.
Photo: Carleen Corrie, winner of the 2010 SCU-Bowen Fund scholarship.
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