When University of Southern Queensland (USQ) Springfield graduate Megan Goodall’s younger sister was diagnosed with Cerebral Palsy and Epilepsy, she decided she wanted to learn everything she could to help her.

The Bachelor of Education (Special Education) student took an interest in the program her sister attended at school and cemented her love of teaching when she undertook work experience in a Prep class in year ten.

“I decided then to follow the path into special education,” Megan said.

“I believe that knowledge is power and we need to stand and advocate for students with a disability.”

Megan was one of more than 100 students to don ceremonial regalia and celebrate the conferring of degrees at a graduation ceremony held at the Ipswich Civic Centre on Saturday (13 April).

Megan, who now works as a Special Education Teacher at Springfield Lakes State School, said she chose USQ because of the flexibility it offered her and the emphasis on supporting students on their individual learning journeys.

“I wouldn’t have been able to accomplish my dream of working in special education without that flexibility, as in addition to studying I also worked and had a baby,” Megan said.

“It feels absolutely amazing to be graduating.

“Words can’t explain the feeling of knowing how hard you work to complete a degree in the midst of life.

“I truly believe that through hard work and determination anyone can reach their goals.

“I worked two jobs while my partner was an apprentice, so we could both finish our studies. When I had my son I was even more determined to graduate, so I continued on with a newborn.

“I can now say that not only has graduating given me the career of my dreams, but it has made me a better person because of the journey I travelled to get to this point.”

Megan graduated from Bremer State High School in 2007 and is the first member of her family to study at university.

USQ Vice-Chancellor Professor Jan Thomas offered her congratulations to Megan and the many other Springfield students who graduated this year.

“I am privileged to witness the outstanding achievements of our alumni and recognise their hard work and dedication,” Professor Thomas said.

“I am confident they will continue to make the University proud into the future.”

Media Contact: Jo-Ann Sparrow, USQ Media, +61 7 3470 4119 or 0438 309 096