The future looks rosy for six of the region’s graduating high school seniors, who received a Western Downs Regional Council Community Spirit Bursary to help with their ongoing education.

In addition to individual awards of $1000, each 2017 bursary recipient will undertake paid work experience with the Council in an area which complements their degree.

Recommended by their school principals, winners were carefully chosen against criteria including academic performance, OP eligibility, contribution to their community, and participation in their school community.

Western Downs Regional Council Mayor Paul McVeigh said he was proud and honoured to present winners with their Community Spirit Bursaries at this year’s awards nights which took place across the region.

“We have an outstanding array of talented, bright, hardworking high school students across our region and it has been immensely humbling getting to know them and their plans for the future,” said Council Mayor Paul McVeigh.

“For our graduating Year 12 students, going onto further study can be an expensive venture, so the Council wanted to give back to those star students who not only performed well in school but have gone above and beyond in their local communities.

“Our 2017 Bursary recipients are a remarkable group of young people, and their commitment to furthering themselves clearly shows that our region is in good hands.”

Renee Burt, a 2016 Community Spirit Bursary recipient, is studying Forensic Science/Criminology and Criminal Justice at Griffith University, and is now on her second placement with the Council.

“During my last holiday period I was amazed at the size of the Council’s workforce through my placement with the Human Resources Team, and now I’m soaking up all the experiences from working in the Communities Department,” said Renee.

“I’m working in an amazing team, learning lots and I’m getting to see so much more of the Western Downs.

“The paid work experience has definitely taken the pressure off during the semester so that I’m able to focus on my studies.”

Another bursary recipient, Thomas Hubbard, hopes to gain more exposure to the arts through his placement with Dogwood Crossing at Miles, and is already seeing beneficial connections with his Theatre/Arts degree.

“I have a real love for the arts, so it’s been incredible to see the behind the scenes of an art gallery, especially at one that is an A-standard regional gallery,” he said.

“This Bursary is such a great opportunity, and the Council has such a variety of different work areas that I’m really enjoying getting a practical feel of what it’s like in the world of working life — especially in an area that interests me.”

Readers also enjoyed this story about Australia Day Awards.