May 9, 2012
Former Australian boxer Jim Stanley, 36, has told how life nearly flattened him for the count until he decided education was the key to a better future.
Jim – who was born in Cherbourg and became the 1997 Australian light welterweight champion – grew bored with work and started to drink too much.
His parents, Warry and Grace, warned he was heading to an early grave. Jim took note … he knew he had to become better educated.
He is now studying to become a town planner at the University of Queensland in Brisbane.
Jim – whose brother Waverly is founder of the Yalari Scholarship – told his story to a group of seven Cherbourg State School classroom mentors who toured the uni campus last week.
He now plans to get his degree and help people with zoning and redevelopment of their traditional country.
In July, Jim will take up a cadetship with the Planning Institute of Australia in Melbourne.
He said he’d like to see more Cherbourg residents go to university.
“I was going to quit because I had a lot of things going on in my life but we have a lot of opportunities here at university,” he said.
“I’m here to get this degree. Cherbourg’s my home but I’m going to get this degree.”
Budding doctor Linda Stewart is also encouraging Aboriginal people to believe in themselves and encourage their children to go to school every day so they can lead a happier, healthier life.
She is in her third year of studies at the University of Queensland in Brisbane and also spoke to Cherbourg State School community classroom mentors on Monday.
The group was taken to the university by the Barambah Parent and Community Engagement (PaCE) team of Marcus Priaulx and Emma Stewart to inspire Indigenous people to seek further education and chase their dreams.