Kaye knows that one decision can be life changing ... and that life can change in an instant.
In 1997, the mother of two took a job as a shelver in the library at USQ while her husband was studying a Bachelor of Business, to help supplement their income.
In late 1999, as her husband was nearing the completion of his degree, he was diagnosed with terminal liver cancer and died a few short months later.
‘The year that Stephen died he was posthumously awarded his degree from USQ. It was a gesture that meant more than I can describe and made me seriously think about how I was going to provide for my family,’
‘I had two children aged 7 and 11 to care for on my own and knew that to give them the life I wanted them to have, I needed to get a qualification.’
Despite taking on the role at the USQ library out of need, she had fallen in love with the working environment and decided to study a Diploma of Library and Information Services online. She went on to complete a Bachelor of Librarianship & Corporate Information Management and a Master of Information Studies.
‘At the time, my chosen field of study was not a field taught at USQ and I had to study elsewhere, but despite that, USQ provided me with study assistance,’
‘A good education can change your life – it changed mine. And I’ve never forgotten the people who helped, in so many ways, to make that change possible.’
It was top of mind for Kaye when in 2016 USQ introduced Staff Giving to the Scholarship Endowment Fund, an opportunity for all staff to give in a way that leaves a legacy of student support. Endowment produces investment returns over very long periods of time. Each year a portion of the investment return can be used for a great cause, like scholarships for students in need.
‘I decided to give what I could. A lot of people think it’s something they couldn’t commit to, but I promise you, small amounts done frequently have a big impact. It was such an ideal way for me to be able to help those that need help to study and give back in some way to USQ. It's easy to set up, it's tax deductible but most of all, it's about giving back to the regions we work and live in.’
‘I think it’s really important that our students know that the people working at USQ are invested in them.’