Joel Paulson.
Joel Paulson. Contributed

Council worker a finalist

AFTER being named as a finalist in two categories of the 2018 Central Queensland Regional Queensland Training Awards, CQUniversity student Joel Paulson is feeling on top of the world.

He was one of five CQUniversity students nominated in the awards, but was the only student to be nominated in both the Bob Marshman Trainee of the Year and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Student of the Year categories.

"I was definitely blown away when I heard, just dumbfounded,” he said.

"Just to be nominated is great, but to be named as a finalist was totally unexpected.”

Mr Paulson, who works for the Central Highlands Regional Council, maintaining the parks, gardens, cemeteries and roadsides of the region, said he was proud to have been recognised for doing a job he loves.

"I used to play football in my younger days and I picked up a lot of 'best player' awards, but this is my first academic achievement,” he said.

"I've been out in Sapphire in the Gemfields with my family for a while now, and I've always enjoyed outdoor labour.

"I always worked on farms growing up and after I finished school and I had my own lawn-mowing business so when the opportunity came up to train with the council I grabbed it.

"I thought I knew everything there was to know about horticulture, but the Certificate II in Horticulture course at CQUniversity showed me a lot.

"It was a bit overwhelming at first having to adjust to studying online but I've come to enjoy it.

"There's something about doing a good day's work and having that feeling a satisfaction when you see how clean it looks.”

Finalists will compete at the regional final held at the Mackay Entertainment and Convention Centre next Thursday, July 21.