Vinnies Queensland Education Services client Brian is a genuinely happy man - a miracle considering the health problems he has dealt with for many years.

Brian was born with lumbar spinal stenosis, though it's not curable, he recently underwent major surgery to keep him walking. He also lives with progressive polycystic kidney and liver disease, experiencing chronic pain on a daily basis. Despite his health challenges Brian keeps remarkably positive and says “there is always people out there worse than I am.”

In late 2017, Brian completed his fourth and final semester at the Clemente program. Vinnies Queensland Clemente program provides the resources and opportunity to support people like Brian in making changes in their lives through university-level education.  

Now Brian is set to graduate with a Certificate in Liberal Studies from Australian Catholic University (ACU). After two years of hard work and persistence, Brian now aims to study business management and Indigenous studies at ACU in 2018 and has applied for an Indigenous student scholarship - a feat made more remarkable by the fact he barely finished year 10 some 30 years ago.

Brian enjoyed all aspects of Clemente and all his subjects equally, he reflected upon the program saying it has provided him the opportunity to “access a better education, enhance my skills and knowledge and make lots of friends.”

Brian was able to access the Clemente program through Education Services at Vinnies Queensland, which aims to support disadvantaged people with a hand up through education. Education Services offer a variety of education pathways to those who have faced barriers to learning. Education responses such as Clemente and Skilling Queenslanders for Work help people who are marginalised, disadvantaged or isolated with the opportunity to re-engage in education and gain a qualification.

Key to the success of Education Services are volunteers who mentor and support students on their learning journey. 

For a full copy of Making a Difference - Autumn 2018 please click here

To donate to the Vinnies Autumn Appeal 2018 please click here