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USQ Changemakers​
In November 2013, Abigail William and Demi Federoff were awarded a Future Leaders’ prize at our school Awards Night which has changed their lives and taken them on a very special journey. Just days after the presentation, they were on their way to a Leadership Forum in Brisbane with some of the school’s elected leaders for 2014.​
A few months later they found themselves sitting in a lecture theatre at USQ, Toowoomba on March 6 2014 surrounded by students from a dozen other secondary schools, listening to speakers and facilitators, and being encouraged and inspired to ‘make a difference’ in their schools and communities. Across USQ campuses 78 schools and 350 students have become involved in Change Makers. 

Abigail and Demi have become part of history. They are two of the inaugural participants in USQ’s Change Makers Program—and the plan is for them to continue their involvement until the end of 2015 when they finish Yr 12. 

“USQ’s Change Makers program invests in young people who have shown potential and commitment to make change in their community. We develop their potential and provide them with inspiration, resources and support to pursue their own vision for a better future. By developing their individual capacity, we hope to build the capacity of our communities,” Josh Murphy, Co-ordinator of USQ’s Schools and Community Engagement arm explained. 

From the workshop in March, Change Makers were expected to find a need, create a project to meet that need, prepare costings and designs, and submit the concept and plans to USQ’s Change Maker panel to see what funding may be available to help make the project happen. But that is not all. They then had to prepare a ‘pitch’ and take it to Pitch Fest at the USQ Open Day on Sunday August 17. 

“Our project will see the Refurbishment of our senior area and is designed to benefit the growing Oakey State High School community for many years to come. We will address the issue of sun safety and provide additional shelter from hail, rain and other ruthless weather, ” Demi Federoff told those in attendance at Pitch Fest during the USQ Open Day. 

Our girls named the project Senior Area Refurbishing which encompasses the open space between H and A blocks at the school. The plan is to construct a weatherproof seating area incorporating paving in what is a high traffic area. 

The girls enlisted the services of Manual Training teachers Messrs Don Gray, Andrew Thomas and Andrew Train, and graphics students to prepare the design and drawings, and Mr Gray worked out the costings. 

Demi and Abigail obviously put forward a good case, complete with petition, because they were presented with a significant cheque - for $2,500 - towards their project. This will certainly kickstart the undertaking which is planned to commence in 2015 under the guidance of Hutchinson Builders. 

Well done Abigail and Demi!!