Luke’s courage to take a risk with CQUniversity gives him peace of mind
[by Greg Chapman]
Ever since he was a teenager, Luke Edmund had a keen interest in the human mind, and through perseverance, his own personal experiences, and the support of CQUniversity, he is on the path to fulfilling his goal.
The 30-year-old Indigenous student has described how his many years of feeling unfulfilled led him to take the first ‘STEPS’ and improve his outlook on life.
After leaving North Rockhampton High School in Year 11 and working in the mining and construction industries, driving heavy vehicles, Luke decided he needed a change.
“I’d worked in mining and construction where I reached a point that I felt unfulfilled and I was over living away from home and my family,” he said.
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“I’d always wanted to try STEPS (Skills for Tertiary Education Preparatory Studies) at CQUni. I’d started reading books – general science books and works by Indigenous authors like Stan Grant and Bruce Pascoe. Then I read a book called The Brain by David Eagleman and it opened things up for me.”
A series of personal crises, including the passing of Luke’s father and the birth of his first child at the age of 18, reinforced his desire to improve his prospects.
“It was a massive responsibility at that age, becoming a parent and in truth, I struggled with it. I wasn’t comfortable with being a parent and I struggled with depression,” he said.
After leaving the mines, Luke started his own gardening business and tried to enter the STEPS program, but failed the entrance exam.
“I thought about giving up, but my wife encouraged me to retry,” he said.
“I scaled the gardening business down and attended on campus to study maths and eventually completed STEPS.”
He then quickly enrolled in a Bachelor of Psychological Science. Soon after, he was awarded a BHP Indigenous Scholarship, which allowed him to keep on top of his bills and cut back on his work commitments, so he could attend class.
Luke’s now a little over a year into his course and he’s glad he found the courage to stay determined. He’s performing well in his studies, securing distinctions and high distinctions.
He encouraged other Indigenous young people to follow his example.
“Have the courage to take the risk,” he said.
“It hasn’t been easy, but if you are confident, you’ll be able to find a way to get through. By taking my risk I’ve learned far more that if I’d stayed safe.”
He said CQUni’s support services included the Australian Indigenous Mentoring Experience (AIME) program, something he was proud to be a part of.
“I heard about AIME on the radio when I was driving dump trucks and I thought it was really cool,” he said.
“I became a mentor after enrolling in my course and I did it because I could see myself in the kids and I wanted to let them know that I was doing my course, not necessarily because I was smart, but because I put the effort in.
“My own personal experience made me realise that maybe I could give something back to others.”