News

02 June 2017

At just twenty years of age, and halfway through her law degree, Learning Potential Fund scholar Hayley Fox has big aspirations to make a difference in the world.

“Law is something I have been passionate about for a very long time, and I cannot express how grateful I am to be studying it,” says Hayley.

“I’m grateful not only because it’s the pathway to my biggest dream, but because it’s been a rollercoaster getting here.”

Hayley’s studies at QUT have been made possible by generous donors to the QUT Learning Potential Fund, which supports students from low-income backgrounds.

As part of the QUT Make Good Things Happen Appeal, we’re asking for your help to enable more students like Hayley to make it to university by making a gift to the Fund.

As a fourteen-year-old, Hayley thought dropping out of school was her only sensible option.

Growing up in Wallaville (50 kilometres from Bundaberg), Hayley had watched her parents struggle to make ends meet and support their six children. They divorced when Hayley was ten, and gradually all five of Hayley’s brothers dropped out of school.


Hayley speaking at a Learning Potential Fund event.

Seeing the financial state the family was in, Hayley reasoned that if she left school, she would be able to contribute to the family financially.

But when a close family friend, Nick, was left in a coma following a serious farm accident, Hayley’s future was put into perspective.

“It was really hard to see my family hurt so badly, and I realised I wanted to be the link between rural families and their access to legal assistance,” says Hayley.

In her final years of school, Hayley juggled work as a tutor and gymnastics coach to provide some income for her family, while living in a caravan on the property as the house had become too full to accommodate the growing family.

But her determination to succeed overcame the challenges facing her, and she submitted an application for a Bachelor of Laws (Honours) at QUT and graduated from high school with an OP3.

It was after submitting her application to university that Hayley’s mother had to have a heartbreaking discussion with her daughter about the realities of Hayley’s tertiary aspirations.

“Mum sat me down and explained we didn’t have the money for me to move away for university, and that my chance of studying law would heavily rely on securing a scholarship,” said Hayley.

“When I received the official offer to study my course, I wanted to accept it more than anything. But instead I had to wait and see if any of the scholarships I’d applied for would come through and make everything possible.”

A few weeks later, Hayley received word that she would be receiving a Tim Fairfax AC Learning Potential Fund Scholarship.

Hayley receiving her scholarship certificate from QUT Chancellor and Learning Potential Fund donor, Mr Tim Fairfax AC.
Hayley receiving her scholarship certificate from QUT Chancellor and Learning Potential Fund donor, Mr Tim Fairfax AC.

Disadvantaged students who receive support through the QUT Learning Potential Fund have an 88 per cent retention rate – which is higher than their peers.

With only a couple of years left of study, Hayley is now within reaching distance of her dream of providing legal support to rural communities.

“The Learning Potential Fund is the reason I am able to strive for my dream of helping vulnerable people,” says Hayley.

“Without it, I would not be where I am today.”

Please consider supporting students like Hayley with a gift to the appeal, and make good things happen today, tomorrow and forever.

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QUT Learning Potential Fund Scholar and Bachelor of Laws student, Hayley Fox.