Tertiary bursaries give students a 'leg up'
Published: 15 February 2016Two young women who grew up in refugee camps are among 15 students who today received a 'leg up' with a $3000 Logan City Tertiary Education Bursary.
Having witnessed the poor health care offered to fellow refugees in overseas camps, Blessing Htoo, 17, and July Soe, 18, want to become nurses so they can give back to the Australian community that 'welcomed them with open arms'.
Blessing and July were born in separate refugee camps and knew little of the outside world until the United Nations helped their families migrate to Australia. Blessing, who lived in a refugee camp near the Thai Burma border, moved to Australia seven years ago with her family.
"Australia has given me so many opportunities,” Blessing, who attended Beenleigh State High School, said.
"I would go to school each day in the refugee camp and not know if I had a future.
"We were excited when we found out we were moving to Australia – we knew we were going to have a bright future."
July, who graduated from Woodridge State High School last year, said the medical treatment offered in her refugee camp was of such low quality that many people died.
"That is why I have decided to become a nurse. I know I will be able to help people once I finish my degree and I am very grateful for this bursary."
The Logan City Tertiary Education Bursary Program began 20 years ago after Henry Prokuda, who is now a partner with Corrs Chambers Westgarth Solicitors, presented the idea to Council.
"This program demonstrates in spades what can be done at a local level to help make available to the young people of Logan one of the best things that can be given to them – a leg up with their ongoing education," Mr Prokuda said at today’s bursary presentation.
This year 15 bursaries were awarded to students from across the City of Logan, taking the total number of bursaries awarded to 180.