SUCCESSFUL BUNCH: Aunty Ruth Hegarty is surrounded by 12 South Burnett QATSIF Scholarship winners who will now go on to further their education.
SUCCESSFUL BUNCH: Aunty Ruth Hegarty is surrounded by 12 South Burnett QATSIF Scholarship winners who will now go on to further their education. Contributed

Indigenous students honoured at graduation

INDIGENOUS Year 12 graduates have been honoured at a special dinner.

Seventeen South Burnett school leavers and their families, friends and teachers have gathered at Murgon Town Hall to celebrate finishing school.

Queensland Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Foundation scholarships and Titans Beyond Tomorrow certificates were given out to students from four secondary schools in the region - Nanango State High School, Saint Mary's Catholic College, Kingaroy State High School and Murgon State High School.

Former Cherbourg Ration Shed dormitory girl and elder Ruth Hegarty spoke to the graduates about the importance of pursuing an education.

"I'm sure all of us older generations would have loved to have had the opportunity of a higher education," Ms Hegarty said.

She said her generation was taught only basic reading and writing and then sent to stations to work as a homestead domestics or stockman on the land.

"After witnessing your graduation I'm reminded of my generation's loss and the basic human rights we did not have," Ms Hegarty said.

"You don't have to be a doctor but there are things you can do and you need to do it.

"We are a nation of people who believe in dreaming, so don't let anybody tell you any different."

South Burnett

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