News Release

QUT Scholarship Recipient Won't Drop the Ball

Inala resident Jermaine Alberts has played semi-professional football, mentored Indigenous youth, spent two years overseas - and now he wants to conquer the corporate world.

The recipient of QUT's School of Business Indigenous scholarship for 2011, Mr Alberts has decided to complete a degree in Human Resources.

"I would like to be the first Indigenous Australian in corporate head management," he said.

In his teen years his dreams were more in the sporting arena, when he spent five years on a scholarship to play for the North Queensland Cowboys from when he was 15.

"Like a lot of young Indigenous men, I had aspirations to play football, so I pursued that dream and played with the Cowboys for five years," he said.

"I love football, and it was such a great experience for me. I could have gone on to make a career in football but I wanted to see what else was out there.

"I still love footy, and always will play."

During those teenage years, Mr Alberts, a winger, was touted as a future Queensland State of Origin star. He was coached at various times by Origin legends Wayne Bennet and Trevor Gilmeister and competed against other noted players such as Broncos forward Sam Thaiday and Australian fullback Billy Slater.

After spending two years in New Zealand serving in a Mormon mission, Mr Alberts returned to Australia in late 2008 with a changed outlook and new goals - and that is when he started to mentor youth.

"I worked with the Department of Communities in Youth Justice, usually with young Indigenous kids who were on the wrong side of the law," he said.

"I would assist the youth and their families in the process of youth justice conferencing - trying to keep them out of the courts. That was great, and very rewarding, and I still do it now on a casual basis."

Last year, Mr Alberts applied for a scholarship at QUT after deciding he wanted to conquer corporate life too.

"I really like the principles of leadership and management, and of making a difference," he said.

"I am very grateful for this opportunity, and I feel like everything I have done in the past has led me here."

Story and picture courtesy of Queensland University of Technology


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