From living with his foster mum in the small country town of Woodenbong, in northern New South Wales, to studying business at The University of Queensland, Matthew Compton admits he’s been on a big journey.
The 21-year-old has just been awarded The Don Argent Indigenous Business Scholarship which will pay for his tuition this year, and is one of six scholarships on offer for indigenous students at the Faculty of Business, Economics and Law.
“It’s a wonderful scholarship to receive in my last year,” Mr Compton said. “And really takes the pressure off so that I can just focus on studying.”
Mr Compton, in his fourth year, is studying dual degrees in business management, majoring in international business, and the arts, majoring in mandarin.
He is joined by fellow business student Sorogo Mills who has been awarded The Don Argent Indigenous Business Endowed Scholarship.
Mr Mills, 23, is in his first year studying business management.
Faculty of Business, Economics and Law Executive Dean Professor Iain Watson said UQ supported the celebration of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures.
“We also recognise the enormous contributions of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and perspectives,” he said.
“BEL offers a range of excellent scholarships to help make going to university a reality for all people.
“These scholarships mean that people from all walks of life can access the very best education possible. It’s not just about the money: we offer help with admission, orientation programs, advice and learning support.”
Mr Compton was awarded a scholarship to study at Scotts PGC College in Warwick from Grade 7-12.
He became accepted by the Aboriginal community of Muli Muli and enjoys visiting to encourage the children to aim high.
“I’m the first person in my family to have attended university and while everyone is afforded different opportunities, I do my best to influence and encourage those I am close to,” Mr Compton said.
“In my day there were no role models that I could relate to but now, because of scholarships like the ones at The University of Queensland, so many more kids are getting the chance to go to schools and university.”
Mr Mills, who is from Thursday Island in Far North Queensland, began his academic career at Nudgee College, where he was a scholarship student.
“I was attracted to The University of Queensland firstly because of its name but also because of the support available for scholarship students,” he said.
Indigenous students attending The University of Queensland have access to a range of professional services and academic support from pre-enrolment through to graduation, including:
· assistance with admission, including information on the range of tertiary programs available, tertiary preparation programs and alternative entry pathways
· orientation programs to assist with the transition to university life and study
· advice on scholarships, prizes, cadetships and student support payments
· learning support and advice, including workshops, group sessions, tutorial sessions and individual consultations.
The Business, Economics and Law (BEL) Faculty offer a selection of scholarships to support Indigenous students including:
· The Don Argent Indigenous Business Scholarship
· Blue Sky Alternative Investments Business Scholarship for Indigenous Students
· Year 12 Indigenous Scholarship for Economics
· The J & M Fulcher Scholarship in Law for Indigenous Students
· The McCullough Robertson Law Scholarship for Indigenous Students
For more information about these and the many other scholarships on offer at UQ, visit: uq.edu.au/scholarships