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The student that just keeps giving: Meet Ross

This article appears in: Alumni stories
CDU Alumni Awards finalist Ross Cook

Ross Cook’s extensive experience is testament to his adaptability, skills and caring nature. When it comes to his career, he’s taken the law into his own hands. He’s helping others live a better life. 

Ross’ dedication to helping others is evident in his work. As board director and secretary on the Board of Carers Queensland, his contribution and drive for change and growth speaks for itself. His efforts have greatly benefited the people under care and their families, and provided rewarding opportunities for the community.

Studying for success

Ross accredits his acumen for sustainable business growth to his education. This includes a Bachelor of Laws from Charles Darwin University, as well as a Bachelor of Business with Distinction from CQU where he later became a Course Manager and lecturer in Finance and Economics.

“During my employment, Carers QLD has seen continual development and provision of services and support to over 180,000 unpaid carers across the breadth of Queensland,” says Ross. “My studies have given me the skills and confidence to take on the responsibilities associated with this and make it a success.”

Ross’ responsibilities include setting strategic direction and planning, guiding business improvement strategies such as workforce planning, and corporate governance compliance.

Building confidence and a career

Under Ross’ directorship Carers QLD has grown year after year. From a $9 million organisation with 90 staff to 560 staff and a budget of $69 million to help unpaid carers deliver the best support to the community. Ross credits CDU for this success.

"I was treated so well by the lecturers and staff at CDU," he says.

As a mature student, they recognised my past studies and skills and helped me build a greater sense of confidence in my abilities and what I could achieve.

“Without this, I don’t think I would have held the positions I have," Ross adds. "I don’t think I would have been able to make executive decisions like those which led to the growth of Carers QLD and hundreds of jobs for the state of Queensland.”

Offering a safe haven

In addition to his role at Carers QLD, Ross is also a board director and secretary at Rockhampton and Environs Affordable Community Housing (REACH) Limited.

REACH is a non-government not-for-profit organisation that provides safe, affordable housing options for people who are homeless or at risk of experiencing homelessness.

His responsibilities at REACH mirror those at Carers QLD.

Outstanding wins for all

A solid reason behind Ross’s success is his recognition of others’ contributions.

“It’s important to make volunteers feel appreciated and valued for their selfless donation of time and effort,” he says.

Carers need to be looked after, whether it be monetarily or otherwise, in a thriving organisation that nurtures them to be their best version of themselves for others.

As a result of his attitude, those in need get better care, as do those who provide it. Ross continues to build the organisations that provide for the people in the community who need it most.

Ross' own contributions have been recognised by CDU with a nomination for the Alumni Awards.

Advice from the wise

If Ross could go back in time, he would offer himself the following advice.

I'm a great believer in education being the way to success. Success generally breeds better opportunities and a better life for you and your family.

"I believe that education puts you in a different light.”

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