3 December 2001

There was plenty of competition for time at the White family`s computer this year as Vicky White and two of her daughters were enrolled in tertiary courses with regular assignments to complete.

And there`s nothing like a bit of healthy familial competition to up-the-ante. When Mum started producing 5s and 6s, this spurred daughter number one - who had only been getting 4s and 5s - to suddenly produce a 7.

Mrs White (phone 07 3294 7063) will deliver the valedictorian speech at the Wednesday, December 19, graduation ceremony at which she will receive her Bachelor of Social Science, at age 46.

She has specialised in social policy and health and will graduate with a GPA that is just under 6.

Although Mrs White aims to work in the health policy field, perhaps with aged people, she has discovered she does her best work between 10pm and 2am when the rest of her family of seven - Mum, Dad and five children - were settled for the day.

Elizabeth Mullighan was awarded an SR1 (suitability rating 1) for the practicum component of her Bachelor of Education degree, so she`s obviously well suited to her career choice of teaching.

Ms Mullighan has just completed a dual degree and will receive her Bachelor of Education at the December 3 graduation ceremony and return for the December 19 ceremony to receive her Bachelor of Social Science.

Before undertaking tertiary studies, Ms Mullighan had many years of experience in administrative contract positions which meant working with a wide range of different personalities - also good training for the classroom situation.

It`s not surprising then that behaviour management was noted as Ms Mullighan`s strong suit during a recent practicum at Beerwah State High School where she enjoyed being able to "test out in the class" the strategies learned during her courses.

And although Ms Mullighan is keen to begin work in the classroom, she hopes eventually to return to further study to develop her research skills and fully utilise her double-degree options.

Steven Keating can`t get back to north Queensland soon enough because he`s had enough of living in the city.

So keen is he to return to his family property at Mareeba and visit friends in Aboriginal communities on Cape York that he is deferring his "official graduation" until next year.

It is also why he crammed his three-year Bachelor of Social Science degree into two years, all without compromising his results because he has still achieved a raft of 7s along the way.

Mr Keating (phone 0427 116 754 or email: keating_steven@hotmail.com) says he just wants to "get out there" and attempt to make a difference in the lives of the people with which he has grown up.

Although not of Aboriginal descent, he has lived amongst Aboriginal people during his earlier work around north Queensland cattle properties and has friends in these communities whose dire living conditions are causing alarm at all levels of society.

Mr Keating had earlier completed an associate diploma in applied science from Gatton externally, but returned to full-time study to get the knowledge and qualifications in community development to make a contribution.

His desire now is to help empower people in Aboriginal communities to become educated and to help raise their general living standards.

It is Kelvin Kin Wai Lau`s ambition to work in the field of television news when he returns to Singapore after completing a Bachelor of Journalism (honours) this year and his dream job would be working as a foreign news correspondent.

Mr Wai Lau (phone 0413 316 060) will graduate on Monday, December 3, and is looking forward to putting into practise the skills he has learned in every aspect of television news production.

He will also be the student valedictorian at the ceremony.

It is the challenge and adrenalin rush of being involved with hard-news gathering that particularly attracts him and he hopes to have the opportunity to be out on the street as a news reporter.

His honours project was a 20 minute feature on how the Queensland Police Services assists officers who are injured on duty and involved interviews with two of the officers involved in a well publicised incident last year.

Mr Wai Lau chose to do his bachelor degree at UQ because of its close ties with the Ngee Ann Polytechnic in Singapore where he had earlier completed a diploma in mass communication.

Media: For further information, contact Brad Turner at UQ Communications on (07 3365 2659).