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Thursday October 14, 2010

QUT twins celebrate World Rural Women's Day - 15 October

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They come from a proverbial blink-and-you-will-miss-it town, "just a couple of houses" called Goodnight Scrub, 45 minutes from Gin Gin (near Bundaberg), but identical twins Samantha and Lucinda Boardman have their sights set on careers that will take them anywhere in the world.

The sisters' education at Gin Gin (population 3000) has set them up well to be first-year students at Queensland University of Technology (QUT) - Samantha is studying for a dual degree - Bachelor of Justice/ Bachelor of Laws with a view to being a barrister while Lucinda is studying for a Bachelor of Nursing.

Samantha and Lucinda are the first in their family to attend university and each received a scholarship from the QUT Learning Potential Fund to help fund their transition from the bush to the city and into university.

"We saved some money during the Christmas holidays by picking grapes," said Samantha who lives with Lucinda and another friend in a share house.

"And with the scholarship money we were able to buy textbooks, groceries and pay the relocation bills.

"The scholarship has meant we could focus on our studies from the start and not worry about money. Lucinda receives further support services from QUT's Equity unit to help with the cost of uniforms and immunisations and other things she needs for her nursing course.

"Relocating to a capital city and not knowing many people and having to forge new friendships and networks has been challenging for both of us," said Samantha, who is employed by QUT as a Student Ambassador.

QUT Alumni and Development director Simone Garske said the Learning Potential Fund was supported by QUT alumni, staff and the community.

"The Fund provides bursaries and scholarships of $1000-$2500 to students in financial need. To date the Fund has provided over 7,500 bursaries and scholarships to students in need," Ms Garske said.

Samantha and Lucinda go home to Goodnight Scrub as often as they can.

"It's just a couple of houses so we went to school in Gin Gin, which has a population of about 7000, by school bus which took about 50 minutes each way," Samantha said.

"Our first year is nearly over, which is hard to believe. All I can say is that QUT is everything that we imagined and more.

"I love it; we work, play and study at QUT. The people here are so friendly and welcoming. It definitely makes for an enjoyable experience.

"I love my course as I get to work alongside professionals and can see the joy in their work; their excitement makes me want to study all the more harder."

Source: Queensland University of Technology

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