Providing opportunities for talented Indigenous students

1 December 2020

UQ alumnus and donor Geoffrey Huey Sattler lived a long and full life, from the time he spent as a Bomber Squad navigator in WWII to the eight years he lived and worked as an accountant in Fiji, before returning to Sydney in 1980 where he worked as a company secretary until retirement.

This was a fullness he hoped to bring to the life of the next generation through a $600,000 gift in his will. The gift – left for general purposes – was endowed in 2019 to establish the Geoffrey Huey Sattler Indigenous Scholarship Fund to create opportunities for First Nations peoples to study at UQ in perpetuity.

Meg Kelman

While Geoffrey ultimately earned three UQ commerce qualifications, his path was not always easy; after leaving home at 16 to pursue employment, he was often overlooked in his youth but would rise above expectations when given the opportunity. For his sister Pam, the University’s decision to endow Geoffrey’s gift as an equity scholarship was a fitting tribute to his life and values.

One of the inaugural recipients in 2020 was final-year Bachelor of Veterinary Technology student Meg Kelman, whose lifelong fascination with wildlife led her to her studies at UQ.

“I've always loved animals. My early years involved stalking skinks through the garden, bucket in hand, before capturing and cataloguing them based on size and colour, and then releasing them back into the wild,” Meg said.

“This love for wildlife followed me through senior schooling and has culminated in my study of Vet Technology at UQ Gatton.”

For Meg, her scholarship made a world of difference in her final year as she struggled to balance her studies with the need to support herself.

“I am so, so grateful to have received this scholarship – I've been juggling a full-time university degree alongside work experience and two part-time jobs,” said Meg.

“Being in my final year, this schedule has been mentally and physically exhausting, but necessary to cover my rent, car expenses, upfront vocational training fees and other expenses.”

As Meg prepares herself for a bright future in the field she loves, she remains deeply grateful for Geoffrey’s support and the opportunities which have made her time as a UQ student unforgettable.

“I’ve had so many positive experiences, but my favourite part was in 2019 when I was one of 20 students selected to participate in a conservation program in South Africa,” Meg said.

“This course involved animal tracking and trapping (eg. setting Elliot traps and helping dart and tag rhinos), game drives, community involvement (local school activities) and lectures on conservation.

“You can’t put a value on education, and I believe what I learnt from this trip environmentally and socially has not only helped to make me a better person, but also helped me contribute towards making the world a better place to live in.

A second recipient in 2020 was Bachelor of Clinical Exercise Physiology (Honours) student Nathan Sagigi, who relied on his scholarship to relocate from his home in the Torres Strait and begin building his future career at UQ.

“As a university student who has moved down to Brisbane from Thursday Island in the Torres Strait to study a Bachelor of Clinical Exercise Physiology (Honours), it has been quite a difficult transition; however, Geoffrey’s support has made this process a whole lot easier,” Nathan said.  

“Without this scholarship, I wouldn’t have been able to commence my tertiary studies this year.”

Nathan Sagigi
Nathan Sagigi

Through his studies, Nathan hopes to deliver improved health outcomes in his community and serve as a role model to help other young Indigenous people to confidently strive for their futures.

“Chronic disease has become a significant health issue within my community, and I am passionate about improving health outcomes to ensure longer, healthier and happier lives for my people,” Nathan said.

“On the completion of my degree, I would like to return to my community to deliver exercise-based, lifestyle and behavioural programs to Indigenous people with – or at risk of developing – chronic and complex medical conditions to improve their overall quality of life.

“I would also like to empower Indigenous youth in my community to go on to further education or training and chase their dreams and aspirations.”

During the campaign, students like Meg and Nathan benefited from the 136 new endowed scholarships created for students in need at UQ. With your help, we’ve created more opportunities for the people who need them most.

Because of you, the good doesn’t stop.



Return to Not if, When page