FAIR GO: University student Georgina Rackemann is currently studying for a Bachelor of Health, Sport and Physical Education.
FAIR GO: University student Georgina Rackemann is currently studying for a Bachelor of Health, Sport and Physical Education. Nev Madsen

Obstacles for country kids

AFTER receiving her education in both Chinchilla and at a private girls' school in Toowoomba, Georgina Rackemann has seen first hand how perspectives of obtaining a tertiary education can differ.

Georgina grew up in Chinchilla and attended primary school here before enrolling as a boarder at Fairholme College in Toowoomba where she graduated.

Now studying for a Bachelor of Health, Sport and Physical Education at the University of Queensland in Brisbane, Georgina said while most of her school-mates at Fairholme College went onto tertiary study, she estimates less than half of her primary school peers have.

"I would say there are more people I went to high school with who went to uni than people I went to primary school with," she said.

"I know a lot of people (from Chinchilla) who aren't at uni."

As a high school student at Fairholme, a great deal of influence was put upon the young girls to aspire to tertiary study and to think seriously about their futures after finishing Year 12 early on, Georgina said.

While the possibility of bucking the trend and taking up a trade was something Georgina herself never considered.

"I guess (going to university) was just what everyone (at Fairholme) did," she said.

"That was the Fairholme influence. A big part (of the education) was preparing us for going on to university."

Rural and regional residents often faced the additional difficulty involved in the move to larger towns and cities to attend university, even once they had been accepted, and as a result often dropped out, according to Georgina.

"A lot of people (from small towns) drop out because they find moving to Brisbane too difficult," she said.

"Moving from a rural town... (and)... moving out on your own can be really hard... but I'm used to being away from home."

While Georgina said she wouldn't mind working in Chinchilla or beginning her career here after she had obtained her degree, she said she preferred to be in Brisbane as it offered her more opportunity for the sport she was involved in.

"There potentially could be job in a rural area for me. (Rural high schools are) always seeking teachers. At the moment I rather stay in Brisbane... but I wouldn't mind going home teaching."


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