Community In Action

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Meet Aquilar, a local on the Cairns south-side, who is passionate about education and seeing youth reach their full potential. Aquilar is a member of the Cairns South Together.

After meeting with local families, Aquilar realised that some families required information and inspiration on what higher education looks like in Cairns, and how they can pursue it for themselves and their families.

Through these meetings, a family evening was organised at the James Cook University, Smithfield, in the new Ideas Lab. The evening was focused on the information that an education today is tomorrow’s pathway to prosperity, success, and self-reliance. It featured 6 speakers from various backgrounds, including teaching, plumbing, law, and electrical, talking about their experiences with university and TAFE, and encouraging those in attendance to dream big with what they would like to do with their futures.

Approximately 30 people attended the event, including those who were considering becoming mature age students, school leavers, students in upper high school, and even an eager Year 7 student.

Also in attendance were two of the Cairns South Community Champions, Maiya and Becka. These two champions were a part of the James Cook University Community Champion Program in partnership with the PCYC, funded by the Cairns Regional Council. The program was a 7 week course that focused on leadership in communities, building the capacity of participants to improve their engagement with their respective communities. Maiya and Becka are keen to further their education through James Cook University.

Audience members who were interested in learning more about attending TAFE or university were encouraged to speak with Orr Thomason, the James Cook University’s Schools Team Leader, and he was inundated with inquiries from a range of people.