From USQ to Cambridge making a difference

As Casey Millward walked into her home for the next 10 months, St Edmund’s College, she thought of the Aboriginal man who paved the way for her to be there.

Mrs Millward, a University of Southern Queensland (USQ) alumnus and Kalkadoon woman from Queensland, is undertaking a Master of Philosophy in Public Policy at the University of Cambridge, UK.

She was awarded a Charlie Perkins Cambridge Scholarship by the Trustees of the Charlie Perkins Scholarship Trust, which is given to Indigenous postgraduate students who have the potential to become leaders in their field of study and in their communities.

The Charlie Perkins Scholarship program was established in 2009 in the memory of Dr Charlie Perkins AO, one of the first Indigenous Australians to graduate from university.

Dr Perkins believed a university degree would prepare him for the rigours of activism, help him to articulate his message and give him the credibility to make people listen.

The rest of his life was dedicated to advocacy for Aboriginal people.

“I feel extremely privileged to receive the scholarship, particularly as I have been working in the Australian Public Service and Dr Perkins has been the only Aboriginal Departmental Secretary at a federal level in Australia’s history. Something which I hope changes very soon,” Mrs Millward said.

“Without the Charlie Perkins Scholarship and the support of the Cambridge Australia Trust, Chevening, my workplace the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet, and the Aurora Education Foundation I would not have been able to undertake study at the University of Cambridge.

“The course will enable me to gain a better understanding of global public policy and how it can be used in an Australian context to help improve the lives of all Australians.”

Since graduating from USQ in 2012, Mrs Millward has been working in Canberra for the Australian Public Service for a number of agencies, managing various employment and risk management programs and developing strategic human resource initiatives for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander employees.

Her most recent role was at the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet as a Director in the Office for Women, leading development of their Reconciliation Action Plan.

Mrs Millward completed a Bachelor of Business from USQ.

“One of the great things about USQ is their online courses, they have the framework and infrastructure set up and have been doing it for many years so it’s very streamlined,” she said.

“The Bachelor of Business helped me recognise different leadership styles, behaviours and organisational cultures and has been an invaluable part of my career journey. Particularly in the public service as you serve the government of the day and being able to quickly understand styles and adapt is key.”

women smiling and handshaking
Casey Millward is awarded the Charlie Perkins Cambridge Scholarship.