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Taking the road less travelled: From a university pathway to a PhD

From working with children in AIDS orphanages in Africa, to homeless children in New York City, Meg Forbes knows a little bit about taking the road less travelled.

After moving to Australia and seeing many Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders continue to struggle against hardships, Meg knew she needed to forge a new path.

She enrolled in the University of Southern Queensland’s (UniSQ) Tertiary Preparatory Program in 2011, something she said was a way to make a difference.

“I thought psychology was a great pathway to do something practical as a result of all that I had seen and experienced,” Meg said.

“But although I had all this life experience, I didn’t have a high school certificate that would allow me to enter university.

“Education is empowering, and it is one of the few things that cannot be taken away from us.”

Watching on as Meg forged her academic path, UniSQ College Director Professor Marcus Harmes said that the pathway program prepared her for a terrific start to study, and gave her a springboard to pursue her dreams.

“Meg was able to turn a passion into a career,” Professor Harmes said.

“Post-COVID, the world is only going to be more uncertain, but having strong foundational academic skills and a clear pathway into study will be a major asset to anyone.”

But this wasn’t the end of the road for Meg.

After finishing her degree, Meg was able to further her work with people from diverse cultures, with the aim of being an ally to the people who inspired her to pursue studies – submitting her PhD in November 2020.

“I can honestly say that studying with UniSQ has been one of the best experiences of my life, and provided me with so much more than just an education,” Meg said.

“It’s been the journey of a lifetime – and one that has made all the difference.”

Are you ready to take the first step? There’s still time to apply for a Semester One for one of the University’s Pathways Programs.

Applications close March 5:

Meg Forbes on the beach
UniSQ PHD student Meg Forbes.