Dr Noritta Morseu-Diop
If it happened to me, it can happen to anyone
I was a single Mum with two small children, living on welfare and delivering junk mail to make ends meet.
I felt that I didn’t have the abilities to get a tertiary education until I met a university student called Wilfred Ebun-Cole who told me, "you don’t have to be very intelligent to go to university, if you have common sense and you commit yourself, you can achieve whatever you set your mind to".
When I got to university the hardest thing was learning how to write academically. I am from the Torres Strait Islands and English is my second language.
Education helped to build my self-esteem and belief in myself and my abilities. It gave me the tools to fight for social justice and the human rights of my people.
I graduated with a Social Work degree in 1992 and with a Doctor of Philosophy in Criminal Justice and Social Work in 2010.
In my work as a social worker I witnessed the incarceration of whole families within the criminal justice system. I wanted to make a difference and bring the voices of the silent and forgotten people to the forefront.
I now have the freedom to do the things that I could never have imagined as a child growing up on Thursday Island.
Being educated at a university level enabled me to find long-lasting and meaningful employment and brought me away from the brink of poverty.
I can now provide a better future for my children and grandchildren. Education changed my life for the better. If it happened to me, it can happen to anyone.