University Medal winner hopes to shift patterns of power and disadvantage

15 DECEMBER 2021

University Medal winner hopes to shift patterns of power and disadvantage

Family therapist and postgraduate student from the Snowy Mountains region has been honoured by receiving the Charles Sturt Postgraduate University Medal of Master of Social Work (Professional Qualifying).

  • Postgraduate studies in social work culminates in University Medal honour
  • Degree assists postgraduate student to move from child protection into family therapy
  • Award winner hopes to create a greater voice for marginalised groups

Family therapist and postgraduate student from the Snowy Mountains region Ms Crysta Bowe has been honoured by receiving the Charles Sturt Postgraduate University Medal of Master of Social Work (Professional Qualifying).

Ms Bowe recently moved from working in child protection to family therapy while she completed a Master of Social Work (Professional Qualifying) in the Charles Sturt School of Social Work and Arts in Wagga Wagga which culminated in this prestigious award.

Charles Sturt Postgraduate University Medals are awarded to graduating postgraduate students who have achieved a grade point average (GPA) of 6.75 or higher.

More than 3,200 graduates from all Charles Sturt University campuses were conferred with their award on Friday 3 December, with just 32 students’ academic achievements receiving the prestigious recognition of a University Medal.

Ms Bowe said she felt honoured to receive a University Medal.

“Pursing my higher educational goals through this degree was definitely worth it,” Ms Bowe said. 

“Studying is so much more than learning for qualifications or career goals. It adds to how you live your life and has helped me become more reflective and conscious of social and political issues and ideologies.

“This degree in social work has provided me with an ethical and professional platform to challenge injustice and to work with a deep awareness of the context and influences that shape people’s experiences.

“Towards the end of my studies I was able to complete my final social work placement with Mackillop Family Services based in Cooma in the Functional Family Therapy team and this led to a full-time role,” she said.

Ms Bowe plans to use her postgraduate skills to work therapeutically with individuals, families and communities in ways that recognise their individual strengths and perspectives.

“The oppression and marginalisation some groups have received over generations can mean that the elements that comprise the self are shamed into suppression,” Ms Bowe said.

“Therapy to me means giving space for these perspectives and ways of living to emerge and then validating and celebrating them.  

“I also see research as an area that can uncover and potentially shift patterns of power and disadvantage, so this is an area I would like to explore in the future.” 

Charles Sturt University celebrates more than 8,700 graduates who have received or will soon receive their award by the end of 2021.

While the COVID-19 pandemic lockdowns affected graduation ceremonies, the University is committed to ensuring graduates have the opportunity to celebrate at a ceremony in the future, with dates to be confirmed.

ENDS

Media Note:

For more information or to arrange an interview with Ms Crysta Bowe please contact Trease Clarke at Charles Sturt Media on mobile 0409 741 789 or via news@csu.edu.au


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