Apunipima’s newest Health Worker named Queensland Student of the Year

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Apunipima Health Worker in Napranum, Shaniqua Burke was named Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Student of the Year at the Queensland Training Awards in Brisbane on Saturday night.

Fresh off winning the award for the Northern Region in July (pictured above), Shaniqua travelled to Brisbane to compete against the rest of the state in the Vocational Education & Training (VET) sector. Shaniqua will now represent Queensland at the National Training Awards in Hobart on 17th November.

“I’m very proud of the achievement but it’s still a bit of a shock to be honest. I can’t believe it, I never thought I would get this far,” Shaniqua said.

Shaniqua’s grandparents and her uncle were with her in Brisbane for the awards as well as another Napranum resident, Kyezaya Namai-Sabatino, who was competing in the category of School Based Apprentice of the Year. It was an impressive result for the Napranum Community, with Kyezaya also winning his category. Shaniqua said it was an exciting event and she had a lot of fun.

“It was massive, there were so many people and I even got to meet the Queensland Governor, Jeanette Young. She is really nice she just came over, introduced herself and started talking to me!”

Shaniqua started her Certificate III in Health Work in August last year and was recently certified, marking an impressively quick completion time. She has impressed everyone in her community and in the organisation with her dedication, work ethic and attitude. Apunipima Learning & Development Manager Ian Ludwick recently said of Shaniqua, “she is one of the most impressive student staff members I’ve had the pleasure of working with, she is an inspiration to Health Workers everywhere.”

When asked about what message she wants to send out to those people who see her as an inspiration, Shaniqua said, “you don’t have to be the smartest or most successful person, you just need to set goals and push yourself to achieve them. It doesn’t matter what your background is but if you’re willing to change your life and you’re willing to break that cycle then you can become the person you want to be.”

Well said Shaniqua, good luck in November from everyone at Apunipima!