Proud and Passionate, Shehana

My name is Taryn Amess, I am the Indigenous Scholarships Mentor based in Gladstone QLD. I have been enjoying my new role, there are so many deadly participants that are working hard in their communities and one I am highly fond of and proud of is Shehana Friday.

Shehana is a proud Olkola, Kabi Kabi, Wakka Wakka, And Eastern Kuku-Yalanji, Nyungkulwarra Bama of the Daintree Rainforest. Her family are spread all across QLD, Shehana has strong connections to Palm Island, Yarrabah, Wujal Wujal, Mossman and Cherburg as a result of the stolen generation. Shehana is currently living in Cairns on Gimuy Country.

When I met with Shehana Friday we spoke about a lot of the issues and challenges our mob are facing every day. Shehana is very passionate and proud, she works full time at Synapse which is a Brain clinic in Cairns as the First nations engagement officer and NDIS support coordinator all whilst studying her Degree in Social Work. Shehana started her career in the health industry when she was just 15 years old, she has achieved so much over the last 11 years.

Shehana has a lot of support from the Aboriginal and Torres strait islander unit at JCU in Cairns, they encouraged her to apply for the Scholarship.

Shehana said “As I work full time there aren’t a lot of options out there for scholarships. When I got the news, I started crying and called my mum and my family right away. This scholarship enables me to buy a laptop and buy textbooks which I haven’t been able to do as yet and not worry about the financial burden of studying. I am really grateful for the opportunity and encourage younger bama to apply for this scholarship, apply for uni, go for that job. You got this.

I want to also send a special shout out to my pop Fred Cobbo thanks for your support and to my family and friends’ thanks for pushing me to strive for the best. I couldn’t have done it without you.”

Shehana is a great role model for our younger Generation, she was recently selected to participate in this year’s Queensland Indigenous Youth Leadership Program. The program provides a safe and supportive environment where participants can openly share their stories and work together to identify community projects addressing current community issues and discuss how to work together with other organisations to influence positive change in the Indigenous communities.

Shehana’s passion for what she does is so inspiring, I can’t wait to see her achieve her goals in the near future. 

Read more about Indigenous Scholarship Program, click here. 


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