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AIEF Alum Siegfried Beschel delivered the Acknowledgement of Country at the SAP Effect event in Brisbane.

I would like to begin by acknowledging the Jagera and Turrbal peoples who are the traditional custodians of the land on which we meet today. I would also like to pay my respects to Elders past, present and emerging, and extend my gratitude to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people present with us today.

My name is Siegfried Beschel, I am a proud young man from the Wagadagum and Kulkalgal tribe in the Torres Straits. I had the privilege to attend St Joseph’s Nudgee College on an AIEF Scholarship where I began boarding in 2016 and graduated in 2019.

My experience boarding at Nudgee College would have to be the most memorable time in my life so far. Boarding has helped me create long lasting friends and taught me how to be independent in the real world. The AIEF Scholarship also taught me to make use of all the opportunities that I get.

As a kid growing up in Papua New Guinea, I witnessed first-hand the hardships faced by locals who sacrificed their time and energy, travelling hours, if not days, just to reach the nearest road or access the closest hospital to sell produce or seek health care. Basic services that we lack appreciation for. They travel for hours because they must provide and care for their family and they do this with a smile on their faces. This heartfelt experience has motivated me to act and help people in need of an improved standard of living.

Today, I am a second-year student studying a Bachelor of Civil Engineering at QUT. I hope to work in rural communities around the world and help design or construct quality roads and bridges that shorten the travel time to access basic services.

This dream would not be a reality without the support of AIEF. I would like to thank SAP for their longstanding support of AIEF and for the invitation to speak today.

Sigi is pictured here with SAP Executive GM, Public Services Chris Peck.

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The AIEF Scholarship Program and the AIEF Pathways Program are supported by the Australian Government in collaboration with individual, philanthropic and corporate supporters from the private sector.