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In pursuit of legal studies at CQU

[by Tiahna Fiddling]

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Senior Constable Ellysha-Anne Geddes. Image: supplied

For 10 years Queensland Police Senior Constable Ellysha-Anne Geddes has helped protect and serve rural and remote communities and now CQUniversity and a Connellan Airways Trust Scholarship are helping her go even further in her legal career.

The proud First Nations woman and mother of three, is studying a Bachelor of Laws to expand upon her legal knowledge. It’s an aspiration she’s had since she was a schoolgirl.

“I vividly recall in Year 4 going on an excursion to the Queensland Police Museum. I remember learning about a murder in the early 1900’s which changed the way people lived and then influenced a change in how the community secured their homes,” she said.

“When I finished high school, I still had a desire to become a Police Officer, but I wasn’t sure I was the right type of person for the job.”

“When the friend of a friend, who was of a similar background to me joined the service as an Indigenous trainee I decided then that I could do it too.”

Eventually, Ellysha-Anne attended an information session at Queensland Police Service (QPS) Headquarters, not far from the Police Museum.

In 2012, she joined the QPS as an Indigenous Trainee through the Justice Entry Program. She successfully completed the program and recruit training and was sworn in as a police officer that same year.

As a First Nations woman, with ties to Larrakia people and a great grandmother who came from the Austral Downs station in the Northern Territory, Ellysha-Anne is proud to have such an important role in rural and remote Queensland.

“I currently work as a General Duties Officer at Cunnamulla Police Station. I am approaching 10 years of employment with the service, and I can honestly say that I still love going to work every day and I enjoy the variety of experiences and adventures a shift can bring,” she said.

“Being a Police Officer is important to me because it allows me to also use the resources available to me to help others and potentially change the course of their lives in a more positive way.”

Ellysha-Anne said she was grateful to the Connellan Airways Trust for providing up to $5000 for one year in financial assistance to support and recognise undergraduate students residing in remote or rural Australian communities.

“I feel very blessed to have received the scholarship - it’s a great feeling to be supported in achieving my goals,” she said.

“Prior to this I didn’t have a computer or study area at home which meant I would stay behind after shifts or start early to complete the work I couldn’t do on my phone.”

“The scholarship has assisted in the purchase of a laptop and desk so that I can study from home more frequently.”

Although her role does not require her to complete any higher education, Ellysha-Anne said obtaining a Bachelor of Laws would assist her in future roles within the QPS.

“I’m hoping that completing the course will enhance the training I have already received from the service and allow me to be a better prosecutor and eventually work on some social enterprise projects,” she said.

“The lecturers are all really passionate about their fields and each course is unique. I love the flexibility of being able to learn at my own pace and I find the online tutorials more engaging than sitting in a lecture hall at a set time.”

“I am also very fortunate to have great support from my day-care providers, my partner and my Officer-in-Charge who is flexible with rostering so that I can always put my family first and pursue personal development.”

“I really want to encourage other women out there who might think that pursuing an education might be too hard or that they might not have the time. CQU provides amazing support especially for remote and Indigenous students.”

The CQUniCares Scholarship program changes lives and CQUni is grateful to partner with the Connellan Airways Trust who share the University’s passion for making a difference in the lives of our remote students, their families and our communities.

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