TAFE Queensland student Loretta Glanville’s graduation has been bittersweet.
The 42-year-old from Weipa, on the Gulf of Carpenteria, began her studies with her daughter, who tragically died from leukaemia in 2013.
Ms Glanville, who grew up on Moa Island in the Torres Strait, graduated alone last week with a Dual Diploma of Business, Leadership and Management
“I had times when I wanted to give up, but I urged myself to carry on because I wanted to set a good example for my other children and to show them that you can overcome obstacles,” Ms Glanville said.
“I am so grateful for the support and motivation that my husband, children and eldest sister have given me.
“I think that my daughter would be very proud of me for completing my Certificate IV in Business last year and now my dual diploma in 2017.”
Ms Glanville received the TAFE’s 2017 Ida-May Pearson Award in memory of the Thursday Island woman who encouraged Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people to pursue their education goals.
The award is given to an inspirational graduate who embodies Ms Pearson’s determination to succeed.
The award has special significance for Ms Glanville.
“I personally knew Ida-May – her grandfather and my grandfather were brothers,” she said.
“I met my husband at her house and my children called her nana.
“I’m quite emotional about receiving this award. It means a lot to me because Ida-May was an amazing rolemodel and it’s such a blessing to know that others think I have similar qualities.”
More than 400 graduates attended the TAFE Queensland Cairns graduation ceremony at the Pullman Cairns International on December 8.