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Passion for community honoured at University of Southern Queensland

[supplied by UniSQ]

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Jennie Waters celebrates being named the 2022 Alumnus of the Year and Outstanding Alumnus in Health & Wellbeing. Image: supplied

Kamilaroi woman and University of Southern Queensland Alumnus Jennie Waters has made a career out of ensuring the voices of Indigenous peoples are heard and valued – and now her efforts have been officially recognised.

 

At a special event hosted by UniSQ Alumnus, ABC television’s Jenny Woodward, Jennie Waters was announced as the University of Southern Queensland 2022 Alumnus of the Year.

 

Graduating from the Toowoomba campus in 1996 with a Bachelor of Applied Science (Psychology), Jennie said her university degree set the course for a professional life focused on helping others, and those in her home community of St George.

 

“Studying at the University of Southern Queensland is where I had the realisation that I wanted to provide better access to health and education for my First Nations people,” Jennie said.

 

“My journey from the time I started at university to now running my own business has always been about helping people and working to reduce, eliminate or remove barriers for people to have a better quality of life.”

 

Jennie – who was also named as the Outstanding Alumnus in Health & Wellbeing – established IndigiCare Connect in St George seven years ago. She said she identified the need for a specialised disability service in the region after working under the Federal Government’s ‘Closing the Gap’ program.

 

“IndigiCare Connect is the only indigenous disability service provider in southwest Queensland and is 100% Indigenous owned with more than 50% of staff members working with us identifying as First Nations people,” she said.

 

“It’s wonderful to be able to assist people to have a better quality of life – not just First Nations people – but everyone across southwest Queensland.

 

“I’m at a stage in my career now where I can look back and reflect on what I have done and I’m so grateful for the opportunity to have studied at the University of Southern Queensland. I was a mature age student when I started my degree at 35 years old and overcame many roadblocks to begin.

 

“But roadblocks don’t mean the end of a story; your story only finishes when you stop writing it.”

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