Graphic design student wins new CSU scholarship

16 MAY 2017

A Charles Sturt University (CSU) student juggles family, community, work and travel commitments while studying graphic design through CSU online.

April PhillipsA Charles Sturt University (CSU) student juggles family, community, work and travel commitments while studying graphic design through CSU online.

Ms April Phillips is now also the winner of the first Online Study Representative Committee Scholarship, a body dedicated to CSU online students.

Ms Phillips was more than happy to receive the $2 000 scholarship, saying, "I am so grateful and proud to receive this support from the Online Study Student Representative Committee.

"It is incredibly important for students who study online to remember they're a part of the Charles Sturt University community," she said.

Early last year, April began her open ended adventure - "I scrubbed the walls of my rental home and drove away with my partner, two young daughters and dog with the caravan in tow," April said.

"I had just lost my job due to funding cuts to the arts, so I made the move to begin my first year of full-time online study. It's been a pretty epic adventure.

Aprils caravan"We hit the road in March 2016 and will continue until at least the end of this year, while continuing my studies through CSU online wherever I might be," Ms Phillips said.

The CSU student has continued to impact community life through various successful community art-based projects, one of the reasons she received the scholarship through the Charles Sturt University Foundation.

One projects was a zine project where Aboriginal Elders from the mid north coast of NSW collaborated with young people to self-publish books in Gumbaynggirr language.

This ignited her passion for working with and supporting Aboriginal youth in regional areas to find their voice and reconnect with the old ways through creative practice.

Ms Phillips wishes to continue working within Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander arts and culture after graduation too, hoping to secure a position in an arts organisation in Australia.

"I want to re-enter this sector with my qualification so I have the knowledge and skills to make significant changes."

Online Study Student Representative Committee president, Mr Damien Hughes, said the Committee was hopeful that this and future scholarships will ease the financial burden on recipients while helping them transform the communities in which they live.

"April's deep desire to contribute to her community and Australia's future will certainly ensure this is the case," he said.

Ms Phillips is also a regular contributor to the student blog at CSU, Charlie, and explains more about her online learning experiences here.

Media Note:

For interviews with CSU online student Ms April Phillips, contact CSU Media.

With over 20 000 students studying through CSU online, the Online Study Student Representative Committee can share ideas specifically aimed at improving the University's online study experience.

Eleven CSU students were elected to what's believed to be a higher education sector first SRC dedicated to online study in 2016, with the election process held entirely online.

Charles Sturt University Foundation offers scholarships varying in value from between $1 000 to $10 000. Scholarships are made available through the donations provided by individuals, companies and organisations.

All photos by April Phillips.

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Arts and Culture CSU students Higher education Indigenous