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Meet CEF Alumna and Volunteer Heather Walker

By May 22, 2024No Comments
Heather Walker, left, helping at a CEF Grenfell event.

Heather Walker, left, helping at a CEF Grenfell event.

Heather Walker has given back to CEF, a foundation that gave so much to her as a student, by volunteering for her local CEF foundation, Country Education Foundation of Grenfell (CEF Grenfell). In recognition of National Volunteer Week 2024, let’s meet her.

Heather Walker

Local foundation:
Country Education Foundation of Grenfell

Institution studied at:
Charles Sturt University

Course:
Bachelor of Education (TAS)

How volunteers:
Photography, promotional material, assisting at events and fundraisers.

Volunteering since:
2020

What do you do for a living?

I work at the local high school as a School Administration Officer (SAO).

What is your connection to rural and regional Australia?

My connection to rural and regional Australia is from where I have grown up. I live on a hobby farm in a small country town where I attended the local high school up until I was in Year 11. I have always been passionate about the land and wanted to learn more to hopefully inspire young people to follow a career in the agricultural industry. Hence my choice in studying a teaching degree majoring in agriculture. I like to keep myself busy and have recently been heavily involved in local agricultural shows. I recently represented the central west region at the 2024 Sydney Royal Young Judges Competition. I see it as one way of giving back to my community and being able to broaden my knowledge. Having these skills and knowledge is very important in my goal to become an agricultural teacher in a rural school.

How did CEF’s support when you were a student help you the most?

I am very thankful for CEF’s support. I was 18 when I first applied, I had faced a few obstacles when I finished school. My worries were taken care of when I received a scholarship, I was able to purchase a new laptop, which was very much ideal for my inline studies. I am still completing my degree online and I appreciate CEF’s support in helping me find my bearing and supporting me both through TAFE and now university studies. Over the years I have been supported by CEF Grenfell, I have been able to purchase required textbooks, assessment resources, pay for internet bills and residential accommodation.

Why are you involved with your local CEF foundation?

I really think the CEF Grenfell is an amazing foundation! Its always willing to give you support whenever you need it. It can be in the form of financial help or emotional help. I think that if someone is willing to give you the time and listen then why not give back in some way. I appreciate all its efforts and its not possible without each and every person. Thank you, CEF Grenfell.

Why do you think it is so important to support the educational pursuits of the students from your community?

I think it is very important. We need to help those who what to do what they love or pursue what they want to study. If we don’t then we really are not going to have future vets, tradies, teachers, scientists, pharmacists, designers, medical professionals, engineers etc. the list is endless. Our students of today are our leaders of the future. A lot of past students in Grenfell go off and do their studies, their trade and sometimes find themselves back in the town they grew up and that’s what its about. Without ongoing support there will be jobs that will have positions unfilled and trades that no longer exist. We are a small community that needs to support one another.

We need to help those who what to do what they love or pursue what they want to study. If we don’t then we really are not going to have future vets, tradies, teachers, scientists, pharmacists, designers, medical professionals, engineers etc. the list is endless.

– CEF Grenfell volunteer and alumna Heather Walker

What do you hope to achieve for regional youth by being involved with CEF and your local foundation?

I hope to share my journey and inspire youth to not be afraid to tackle the challenges post school and know there is always someone out there willing to help! Always be open minded to new chapters in live and to not let life’s challenges stop you from achieving what you are capable of.

What is the best thing about living in your regional town and community?

The best thing about living in Grenfell is people recognise you and what you achieve. Don’t be afraid to celebrate the little things and to share the challenges. Grenfell is a very supportive community especially towards our youth. As youth we should embrace this support and give anything a go. I like to think of it as let’s put Grenfell on the map! Be proud of the small country town you live in!

Joshua Matic

Author Joshua Matic

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