The University of Southern Queensland recognised student achievements at its Student Award Ceremony on Wednesday 4 October.

The USQ Student Awards recognise outstanding achievement and student contribution back to the community and the University through sport, student clubs, leadership and community service.

Ten awards were presented during the ceremony. Martelle Ford, who is currently studying a Bachelor of Science (Honours) in Psychology, received the Community Service Award and the USQ All Rounder Award. She chose to study 20 years later than she first thought in order to raise her son, Jagger.

Ten awards were presented in areas of sport, leadership, student clubs and service to the wider community.

“It would be validation that if you put in the hard work you can get recognition.

I hope the importance of giving back to the community is a good example to my son,” she said.

“I was very surprised to receive the awards, and at the same time, I am very grateful and honoured.”

Ford was recognised for her commitment to study as well as participation in both co-curricular and extra-curricular activities and her extensive community work.

This year she has given her time to Career Employment Australia as a literacy tutor, teaching adults who were illiterate, individuals with learning disabilities, and new immigrants to Australia, to help them gain employment.

Ford is also a Silver Cord Reassurance Caller with St John Ambulance Queensland and a crisis support worker at Lifeline.

“Through volunteering with these organisations I am also able to put my knowledge and study into practice,” she said.

“Even giving a small amount of time can make a big difference in someone’s life.”

The other award recipients included: Ina Mills (Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Community Service Award); Jacob-Hakim Oyat (Student Representative of the Year), Sheldon Boland (Multicultural Community Service Award), Redha Alrikabi (Sportsman of the Year), Eden Jackat (Sportswoman of the Year), Chinese Culture Club (Highest Achieving USQ Club Award); Marlene Monteith (Unsung Hero Award); and Nicole Maynard (Australian University Sport Most Valuable Player).

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