PROACTIVE: Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Community Service Award recipient Melinda Ah Sam with Head of the College for Indigenous Studies, Education and Research Professor Tracey Bunda.
PROACTIVE: Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Community Service Award recipient Melinda Ah Sam with Head of the College for Indigenous Studies, Education and Research Professor Tracey Bunda.

USQ awards night recognition for giving back to uni community

MELINDA Ah Sam is passionate about motivating Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders to celebrate their culture and plan for their future.

The University of Southern Queensland (USQ) Springfield student was recognised for her hours of service when she received the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Community Service Award at the recent USQ Student Awards Night.

USQ Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander and Multicultural Affairs Marketing Officer Laurie-anne Parsons, who nominated Ms Ah Sam, said the education student always made herself available to help others and give back to the University and the community.

"Mel is very is proactive and has a positive and can-do attitude towards all aspects of her life," Mrs Parsons said.

"It still amazes me that she has been able to contribute to USQ programs in such a significant way, being in her final year of her degree. Teachers play an important role in children's lives and knowing we have graduates like Mel going into schools is comforting. I am confident she will have a positive impact on our young people, as a teacher and a role model.

"She is a great inspiration for our people and I am excited to see what she is going to do in the future."

Ms Ah Sam is a Murri Meet-Up leader and student ambassador.

The mother-of-two has also volunteered for USQ Orientation Week, Harmony Day, Celebrating Educators Conference and other community activities such as NAIDOC and the Ipswich Education Youth Sport Program.

Ms Ah Sam, who is on track to finish her Bachelor of Education (Early Childhood) degree this year, said she was honoured to receive the award.

"I was not expecting to win such an amazing award and was shocked when my name was announced," she said.

"I enjoy being able to give back to the community and assist where needed at a variety of events that I am truly passionate about.

"I am grateful for all the positive comments that were contributed by not only Laurie-anne who nominated me but many others as well."

Ms Ah Sam has been instrumental in showing ways to respect traditional cultural values and inspire other Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people to embrace their education so they can reach their career ambition.

"I hope I'm a positive role model for not only Indigenous people in the community but to all those I connect with through my studies, work and community engagements, especially my own children," she said.



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