Connie Creevey’s first classroom was on the wide-open plains travelling the stock routes between the Northern Territory and Queensland.
She learned maths by counting the cattle on the muster, storytelling by the campfire, and science lessons by looking at the endless stars overhead from her swag.
“The first five years of my life I spent travelling between the Northern Territory and Western Queensland with my parents, who have run a contract mustering, droving and weaner tailing business for the last 30 years,” she said.
Connie is a fifth-generation drover, she could ride a horse before she could walk, and the love of the Australian outback runs deep in her veins.
This upbringing led her to pursue a career in rural teaching by studying Education at the University of Southern Queensland.
“Growing up in a rural and isolated area of Australia, I learned the importance of a quality education,” she said.
“Being isolated and rural, access to education can be difficult, and students can be disengaged as they have a lot of responsibilities and interests outside of the classroom.
“I was motivated to choose a career in Education at UniSQ as I understood the struggle and grew to learn the importance of an engaging classroom and education in rural and remote settings.”
The 18-year-old is the recipient of the University of Southern Queensland’s Elizabeth Rowlings Memorial Bursary. The Bursary was established by Colin Rowlings, to honour the life of his mother, who was a staunch advocate for the value of education in the development of young people and the role of teachers in providing that guidance.
“It was amazing to be acknowledged by this incredible family,” she said.
“Their story has inspired me to pursue my degree in education and teach in rural areas and make a difference in the lives of others.”
Connie lives on her family’s property in South West Queensland and has just completed her first year of a Bachelor of Education (Primary).
Find out more information about studying Education at the University of Southern Queensland.