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Ordinary people like myself don’t always get things like this happen to them and it has been amazing.

LIFE’S CHALLENGES

Charlie Crawford knows that being from a remote background life has its challenges. In a small town called Gurley, about 8 hours from Sydney, he grew up on the family farm with Mum, Dad and 10 – yes 10 – brothers and sisters.

Charlie proudly says he was lucky to have a few older siblings take on university before him, “lighting the way.”

Of his younger siblings, he has a brother with a disability. He says, “it is hard for us, as a family, to smile and keep going.”  Yet they do. And Charlie absolutely does.

Despite the challenges, Charlie is now in his third year of a very demanding double degree at the University of Technology Sydney, one that many would not have the aptitude or determination to take on. He received his first high distinction, a 2020 moment he says he is most proud of, alongside gaining an internship with a tech start-up company.

Charlie says he has, at times, needed to ask his parents for money to help him out with necessities like rent and food, which can be hard thing to do when he knows they also have his siblings to take care of.

There is no doubt this is why Charlie is so grateful for the ‘amazing’ support he has received from CEF Moree, CEF Australia and St Andrews College since starting university in 2019.

I cannot afford things as I normally would have. It’s surprising how this affects other aspects of my life, such as mental health from not socialising enough and worrying about money.

CEF AND THE COUNTRY ETHOS

Not only has CEF assisted Charlie financially by helping pay rent and a much needed new laptop in the year of COVID and online study, but he says it has allowed him to maintain a work-life-study balance. This is so important for him to achieve great results, like that high distinction, and to keep on top of his mental health.

Charlies speaks fondly of CEF and his hometown in regional Australia, “the country ethos I grew up with has not been lost on me since going to Sydney, partly because of CEF.”

The support and generosity received from CEF Moree has certainly been special to Charlie. So much so, that he says “I have forced my siblings to apply because of the family that CEF has provided.”

My support from CEF Moree has been amazing as they are always ready to take a call or answer an email.

THERE’S NO PLACE LIKE HOME

Coming from the country, I know what motivates me to continue – my home.

After finishing his studying and gaining some professional experience, Charlie intends to return home to Moree, a place he believes has been so good to him and his family.

Having a passion for law in the Australian context, Charlie knows first-hand there are people in our society that are underrepresented and misrepresented in our legal system and he “wants to return to the place that nurtured me and aid in the local initiatives, providing legal advice and representing those in court that might need my help.”

Despite his claim, Charlie is far from ordinary. “One way or another I will return home to help those who have helped me.”

FAST FACTS ABOUT CHARLIE

Local Foundation:
Country Education Foundation of Moree

Institution:
University of Technology Sydney

Course:
Bachelor of Laws/Bachelor of Business

Scholarship:
CEF – St Andrews Scholarship 2019

Year of study:
3rd year

FUN SPEED ROUND WITH CHARLIE

Best playlist for concentrating?
Anything classical (don’t hate it till you try it)

Favourite place for coffee or tea?
UTS Café

Last book you read?
Cloudstreet, Tim Winton

Fantasy study group?
Lisa Wilkinson, Dad, Mum, the Honey Badger and Elon Musk

How would you spend your last $10?
On something to eat

Nicole

Author Nicole

CEF Engagement & Development

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