Elizabeth McDonnell

I wish to be a youth worker, I wish to use the opportunity given to me, to help young people like me through this difficult stage in their lives. For this, I would like to give my gratitude and thanks to AVCAT and RSL Queensland for supporting me through this scholarship, which has provided me with the opportunity to continue my studies, my career, and my life.

By Elizabeth McDonnell

My name is Elizabeth McDonnell, and I am an honoured recipient of a 2019 AVCAT RSL Queensland scholarship.

For several generations, my family has served in the Australian Defence Forces. Both my father and Uncle joined the army at the age of 16 and I grew up hearing stories about how it changed their lives forever. Although my father, who was a proud engineer, discharged from the Army when I was young, my Uncle continued for another decade.

Becoming a recipient of this scholarship allowed me to start my academic career by moving out of home and into the big city. This allowed me to attend Griffith University in person to study a double degree of a Bachelor of Psychological Science and a Bachelor of Criminology and Criminal Justice. However, after the first trimester I decided that I wanted to focus solely on Criminology, so I dropped to a single degree.

Ever since I was very young, I remember I wanted to be like my father, however, I never really wanted to join one of the armed forces, instead I always wanted to join the police force. I was set in my ways. Throughout primary school and high school, I attended everything that involved police, including police information open days and festivals with police information stalls. However, because of this scholarship, I was able to attend university which has since altered my mind.

I found that whilst studying criminology, rather than joining the police, I wanted to focus on becoming a youth worker. I decided that the police force does not really focus on the rehabilitation and wellbeing of individuals after they have been through the system. By studying at Griffith, I am given the opportunity to focus my studying on courses that teach about correction, rehabilitation, and youth work.

Although I have yet to figure out exactly in what capacity; I wish to be a youth worker. I wish to use the opportunity given to me, to help young people like me through this difficult stage in their lives. For this, I would like to give my gratitude and thanks to AVCAT and RSL Queensland for supporting me through this scholarship, which has provided me with the opportunity to continue my studies, my career, and my life.

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