Thursday, August 24, 2023


Mackay and Whitsunday Life

“It’s Never Too Late To Follow Your Dreams”

In a world where dreams often lay dormant, one determined individual from Mackay defied the odds and embarked on an educational journey of self-discovery.

Sheena Shaxson rewrote the narrative of her life, embracing the transformative power of education to become a teacher.

"CQUniversity has given me the opportunity to follow my dreams and become a teacher," said Ms Shaxson, reflecting on her journey.

"Although my path took unexpected turns, I'm grateful for the support and guidance I received along the way."

Having initially enrolled in 1993 with aspirations of becoming a high school science teacher, Sheena's educational journey was put on hold. However, her determination never wavered, and more than two decades later, she proudly received her testamur at the recent 2023 Mackay graduation ceremony.

Recalling her transformation, Ms Shaxson shared, "I am vastly different from the person I was before I began my course.

“Returning to my studies as a mature student was challenging, but CQUniversity made the transition seamless with their unwavering support."

Through a Vocational Education and Training (VET) course and a Bachelor of Education (Primary), Sheena navigated her way back into the education environment.

"I started as a teacher aide, working closely with passionate teachers who inspired me to pursue my dreams," she revealed. Overcoming her reservations, she embraced the Bachelor of Education program.

Acknowledging the hurdles she faced, Ms Shaxson expressed her gratitude for the lecturers who provided the resources she needed and answered her countless questions.

"There were days when it felt like time wasn't on my side, but I learned to manage my schedule effectively, striving for a balanced life," she explained.

Financial assistance played a crucial role in her success. The CQUniCares Student Support Scholarship and the Australian Literacy Educators Association (ALEA) Mackay Prize provided her with the much-needed financial aid, enabling her to pursue her studies without financial burdens. Her exceptional academic performance in English earned her recognition from ALEA, further boosting her confidence.

As she embarked on her teaching career, Ms Shaxson felt grateful for the early recognition she received.

"I was offered a teaching position at a local primary school even before my graduation," she shared with excitement.

"Now, I have the opportunity to create a safe and nurturing space for my students, just like my teachers did for me."

Her story is a reminder that age should never be a hinderance from pursuing dreams and making a positive impact.

Sheena Shaxson. Image supplied CQUniversity

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