Harry scores first uni goal – now for the world
QUT student Harry Sabatino has only just started uni but he's already figured out the value of goal setting.
At 15, he set his sights on going to university, at 17 he honed in on studying civil engineering, and now at 18 he wants to get through his first semester of uni with a mix of distinctions and high distinctions.
And then there's his ultimate goal - an international career in engineering and business that will make him a role model for Indigenous and Torres Strait Islander youth.
Harry, originally from Thursday Island, graduated from St Joseph's Nudgee College in Brisbane last year and is now enrolled in a double degree at QUT in engineering and international business.
He is one of more than 10,000 new QUT students who completed their orientation last week and will start their studies in earnest this week.
"It's already a bit different to what I expected," he said. "There's a lot more going on and it's going to be challenging but I think there's plenty of support that will help me get through."
That support will come from many directions, including QUT's Oodgeroo Unit and Harry's own family, particularly his dad, Ilario Sabatino.
"Most of my family have degrees so they've been role models for me," Harry said.
"They've mostly studied business and medicine and social work, so I'll be the first engineer.
"My uncle was the person who first got me interested in engineering. He was a diesel fitter and he always used to work on heavy machinery and diesel engines and I used to help him out and he'd teach me a few of his skills. Then I realised there was more I was interested in - pipelines, infrastructure, and I decided to focus on civil engineering."
Harry's interest in engineering during high school was cemented last year after he took part in the Indigenous Australian Engineering Summer School (IAESS) in Sydney, followed by work experience with IAESS sponsor Parsons Brinckerhoff.
"We did every field of engineering so it gave me a good overview of what I could expect," he said.
Harry said he would encourage other Indigenous young people to also make university one of their goals in life.
"I'd say just jump on the opportunities that come up - never let one pass you by," he said.
"It's important to keep trying and set your goals and role models and follow your dreams."
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Media contact: Mechelle McMahon, QUT media officer, 07 3138 9449 (Mon & Thurs) or email@example.com (Mon-Fri)