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Jacob finds his confidence helping others

Twenty-year-old Jacob Brassington is one step closer to achieving his dream of becoming a mental health nurse after not only graduating from the Diploma of Nursing in Hervey Bay, but earning the honour of 2023 Fraser Coast Student of the Year for his dedication to his studies.

Jacob Brassington was among the more than 60 students who descended on the Beach House Hotel on Wednesday 6 December with their nearest and dearest to mark the culmination of all their hard work, and the beginning of their new careers.

Jacob said he was pleasantly surprised when he was announced as the recipient of Student of the Year, and that he was honoured to has even been considered.

“It wasn’t until I was on the stage and looking at my family and teachers that I was able to feel just how much I’ve achieved and how far I’ve come,” Jacob said.

“It was a pretty emotional moment – my nana, grandad and mum were all there and crying – but for me, I was just so happy to be able to share this with them because they’ve been so supportive throughout my studies.”

Surrounded by role models in the business of helping people, Jacob said he was particularly inspired by his grandparents – psychotherapists based in Hervey Bay – who have always been extremely supportive of him. So at just 18-years-old, he packed up his life in Canberra, leaving behind his family and friends, and moved in with his grandparents with the goal of kick-starting his own career caring for others and one day working in mental health nursing.

While it certainly hasn’t been without its challenges, it’s a move Jacob says is one of the best decisions he’s ever made, and he can’t wait to start putting his skills into practice.

“I’ve always been a caring person, and I had great grandparents and teachers who recognised that and supported me in that direction,” Jacob said.

“I initially had a setback in my first term when my nerves got the best of me and I failed my practical skills test, but I decided to look at that as an opportunity to grow, and I’m proud that I persisted.

“Starting out so young, I found it all a bit daunting at first, but I wanted to prove to myself I could do it, and during the course I got to really find myself and build my confidence and strength.

“I’d now like to work as an enrolled nurse for at least a year to gain more practical experience before doing a Bachelor part-time, and obtaining my Masters in mental health nursing.”