Recipients of the 2021 RSL Queensland Scholarship were awarded certificates in a presentation hosted by RSL Queensland in Brisbane.
AVCAT CEO Len Russell, appearing via pre-recorded video, thanked RSL Queensland for their long and continued support of the AVCAT Scholarships as well as for hosting the awards this morning. He went on to encourage AVCAT scholars.
‘To all the scholarship recipients here today I would like to emphasis for them to take pride in your achievements and seize this opportunity it will be wonderful, challenging and sometimes stressful but one of the most exciting times of your life.’
AVCAT Alumnus, 2017 RSL Queensland Scholarship recipient, Madeline McCullagh gave an inspiring speech that included three lessons Madeline found most valuable for overcoming life’s challenges and getting through hard times.
‘The first one was learning patience. I knew the importance of setting goals and ‘if I work hard, it will pay off’ which was great, but when it came to studying and living out of home, I often became disappointed – I couldn’t see the end result. You can’t complete a degree overnight and while setting goals are great, you need to be realistic with how long it will take to achieve them… take this time to find your way. Never let fear decide your future.
The second lesson I learnt was to prioritise my health – both physical and mental. I can’t stress enough (pun intended) the importance of looking after yourself as a young adult. Even if it’s the smallest of things, like focusing on a balanced diet (not just two-minute noodles every night for dinner – my personal favourite mi-goreng) or taking some time to go for a walk, it can really make a huge difference.
The most important lesson of all was knowing your support circle… No one can get through life without the support of others and when I think of all the hard times and even in current times, I know how grateful I am for mine. I am very lucky to have very supportive parents, friends and family who I learned to talk to and were there for me but it’s also organisations such as AVCAT and RSL Queensland that are really there, not just to provide financial assistance but to support us, as they have done for our ex-service men and women.’