“I wanted to be able to somehow remove barriers for students so they can concentrate on becoming the best versions of themselves they could possibly be. This is hard to do if they are constantly in survival mode, I want them to be in “thriving mode”.
“We are growing a community of leaders in the university environment. This is a great responsibility that requires a care culture, that I want to be living intentionally through my thoughts and deeds.
“I hope my donations help to give a student some critical breathing space to enjoy their learning experience with Flinders University.”
The contributions from staff in supporting students have been extraordinary. Flinders University employees have provided guidance and mentorship to students during challenging circumstances and generously assisted with financial support for those experiencing financial hardship.
Student scholarships are a tangible recognition of academic endeavour and an investment in the higher education and career goals of another. Something Dee herself is experiencing this year as a sponsored participate in the 2020 Governor’s Leadership Foundation program.
“When I applied, I knew I could only realistically afford 50% of the program and went through the rigorous application process anyway not knowing if I would be able to participate.
“I did not fit any of the existing scholarship options, so I was extremely surprised the wonderful staff at the Leaders Institute of South Australia shared my story with potential private donors, which eventuated in a fully sponsored placement.
For Dee, equity in education is important, and while the pandemic has exacerbated financial need, regional community participation in higher education was already an issue on her mind.
“It is important to remove barriers for students at all levels of education to be nurtured and guided into this realm with their eyes, arms and hearts open.
“By unearthing and developing strong regional community and business leaders who may leave their hometowns to gain global experiences and perspectives at university, then return to their communities to create vibrant safe spaces and thriving micro-economies – we are ushering in a new wave of care culture leadership.”