Top ATAR talent kicking off study at Southern Cross University

Published 1 March 2021
Scholarship recipient Amy Mazzarella

When Amy Mazzarella steps foot on Southern Cross University campus for her first class in 2021, she’ll be one of more than a thousand new students welcomed to the University.

Southern Cross Uni has seen dramatic demand in domestic applications, which have increased more than 16 per cent, with the University welcoming students back on campus and online for Session 1 classes.

Amy was recently awarded Southern Cross University’s prestigious Vice Chancellor’s Scholarship, following a metamorphic year where she overcame her fears to become the 2020 School Captain of St Joseph’s College, and activated her personal study plan to become Dux of her school with a 96.15 ATAR.

The Bachelor of Law freshman says her secret to achieving top grades and maximising opportunities is ‘be organised and have confidence’.

“I used to be the girl who was really quiet and shy and who hated having to say a speech for an English assignment – I don’t even know why I was like that,” says the young changemaker, now brimming with confidence.

“I played representative netball so thought I’d go for Sports Captain because then I wouldn’t have to make a speech. But later when I was talking to my mum about it I decided I had nothing to lose that I’d take the plunge – getting up in front of people was good for me, and I actually became school captain.

“I became so much more confident in Year 12 – sometimes it really pays off to put yourself out there.”

During senior school, Amy took part in the BASE Leadership Program for Grade 11 and 12 students from Tweed and Byron Shire – sponsored by Southern Cross University – with access to specialised leadership workshops and scholarship opportunities.

“My first time on campus at Southern Cross University Gold Coast campus was in Year 11 for a workshop on effective decision-making and I knew right away this is where I wanted to study Law,” says Amy, now 18, who will be the first in her family to attend University.

“I live in Coolangatta – born and raised here – and I really wanted to stay local to continue to study and work in the area and live with my parents. I drive past Southern Cross University all the time, and love that the campus is local, and you can get a world-class education close to the beach and yet it’s personalised and small enough that you don’t get lost.

“Southern Cross University has some incredible law graduates and this degree here is such an awesome opportunity to study and practice law locally. I’m most looking forward to meeting new people from across different degrees walks of life and I’ve secured part-time work in a local Coolangatta law firm – Keating Law – which is already giving me real world experience.”

Senior manager of student management Paul Robinson said Southern Cross University experienced a massive 16 per cent increase in domestic student applications across its campuses at Gold Coast, Lismore, Coffs Harbour and online compared to the same time last year.

“Our most in-demand courses include the ever-popular Bachelor of Nursing, followed by our free award-winning pathway programs PSP and Transition to Uni to prepare students to study a degree, followed by our new Bachelor of Science, then Primary Education, Occupational Therapy, Psychological Science, and our new Bachelor of Business and Enterprise,” Mr Robinson said.

“We’ve had more than a thousand students take part in orientation campus tours at the Gold Coast campus alone – there’s a real buzz back on campus.”

Media contact: Content and Media content@scu.edu.au