COVID-19 Advice for the JCU Community - Last updated: 8 June 2022, 12pm (AEST)

Impact

You can be a champion of change by donating to a JCU cause you care about.

You can join our community of donors who are making a lasting impact on the student experience at JCU. Your donation can support students facing hardships, allow a student to undertake mandatory placement or work integrated learning experiences or support potentially lifesaving research that makes life better in the tropics.

Sajana Perera (Sri Lanka) is studying a Master of Tourism and Hospitality Management at JCU Cairns and was among hundreds of JCU students to receive emergency financial help, food packs and emotional support during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Sajana arrived in Cairns in February 2020 to begin a Master of Tourism and Hospitality Management. After settling into campus life and finding a job in a restaurant within days, the COVID-19 pandemic hit Australia. The restaurant had to close down, classes transitioned to online delivery, and Sajana was far from home and his usual support networks.

“For two weeks, I was silent and worried. I was all alone here. I had no friends. My parents were backing me financially and supporting me, but I didn’t do anything in those two weeks.”

But the resilient and determined scholar, who completed an undergraduate degree in England, bounced back.

“I got a push bike, started jogging, and began to build my fitness. I registered for Uber Eats and started to do deliveries. I got $6 the first night. People were telling me to stop ‘What can you do with $6?’

“But within weeks I was earning good money, getting exercise, and I survived.”

Sajana Perera.

Image: Sajana Perera on campus at JCU Cairns.

Sajana received a $400 grant from JCU via its Student Success Support Package to help support him during the pandemic. His marks have been good and is enjoying life in Cairns, despite the recent challenges.

“Now I’ve developed contacts, the Cairns Student Hub have been providing me with frozen meals and fresh vegetables. People have been so helpful here. For me, it’s like a home away from home.

“I know there are so many opportunities here in Cairns, especially in tourism and hospitality, and I will have a good time here.”

As restrictions begin to ease in Australia, restaurants and cafes in Cairns are reopening and the tourism sector is beginning to bounce back. Sajana has now secured employment with a local restaurant and feels positive about what the future will bring.

June 2020

Siva and Su.

Siva and Su honour their daughter, Dr Roobiny Sivananthan (BVetSc, 2011) by supporting students at JCU. Roobiny worked as a veterinarian in the remote communities of North West Queensland and Mornington Island where she was passionate about animal welfare. Su and Siva's gift supports future veterinarians gain experience working in remote and rural communities, they hope by gaining an understanding of the challenges faced in these areas future veterinarians will carry on Roobiny's work helping these communities.

Colin is not a JCU alumnus, but has lived in Townsville most of his life. He started his donor journey with JCU by creating an academic prize in nursing to honour his mother and father in 2017. Since then, Colin has donated even more money so this prize will generate enough interest each year so it can be awarded in perpetuity. He later created another endowed prize in physiotherapy and he is leaving a planned gift for JCU in his will. Colin has also made arrangements to donate his body to JCU’s Human Bequest Program when the time comes.

We salute Colin for being a role model with his generosity and thoughtfulness.

Colin Dempster

"I moved to Townsville from a small country town in central west New South Wales, I don’t have any family here, so the support was extremely helpful and allowed me to really focus on my studies and access resources that contributed significantly to my uni experience".

Ruby.

Ruby, JCU Pharmacy student