My name is Samantha Watson. I was born and raised in the beautiful country that is the South Burnett. I am a proud Wakka Wakka lady, with connections to Kullili, Birri Gubba, Koa and Gunggari.
I received a QATSIF scholarship while at Saint Mary's Catholic College in Kingaroy. Being a recipient of a QATSIF scholarship ensured that I was able to stay at Saint Mary's and complete my secondary schooling. It was also a great opportunity for me to meet some really inspirational people.
Around this time in my life, I decided I wanted to pursue a career that I was passionate about. Becoming a nurse was a natural decision. To this day, I am thankful for the support of many people at Saint Mary's and within the community.
In 2013, I completed Grade 12 at Saint Mary's and was honoured to be named as College Captain. At the end of 2017, I completed my dual degree in Bachelor of Nursing and Paramedicine at the Australian Catholic University, in Brisbane.
My decision to go to university was easy, however the journey was tumultuous. I had to move away from my family, my friends and my community. There were times throughout my 4 years at University where I was so homesick I could have thrown in the towel, packed my bags and moved home. Somehow I stayed, and in those 4 years I learnt just how lucky I am to have such supportive family and friends. I'm currently a Nurse in Far North Queensland and loving every bit of it.
To any current and future QATSIF recipients, or any young people thinking about their future, I have a few words of wisdom that I'd like to pass on.
Number one, you are good enough. Sometimes you'll feel like you can't do it, you can't finish it, you can't be it. The truth is if you are willing to work hard, you can definitely do it.
Number two, surround yourself with positive people. It's amazing how much other people are willing to help you to achieve your goals.
Number three, mistakes are not failures, often mistakes are the best opportunity to learn. This is something that I am still working on in my own life, but I can certainly promise that making mistakes has made me a better Nurse.
Most importantly, tip number four is have fun and enjoy the journey! Meeting new people, learning their stories and taking in their knowledge will make you a better person. I'm lucky enough to meet new people every day and it's the favourite part of my job.
I'd like to once again say a massive thank you to everyone who has aided in my journey of learning. I know that my education is nowhere near complete and hope to be able to show other Indigenous young people that anything is achievable.
I look forward to hearing other QATSIF stories in the future!