Bursary honours elder’s legacy

Uncle Bevan Costello's legacy in and around Cherbourg will be honoured with a new bursary for youths. Picture: Amy Buckingham.

WARNING: This story features the names and images of people who have passed away. Reader discretion is advised.

The Queensland Government has launched a new bursary program to honour one of Cherbourg’s most prolific changemakers.

The Department of Education’s inaugural Bevan Costello Senior Bursary will offer two Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander youths aged 15 to 24 $2,500 each to pay for the costs of education or employment training.

Successful applicants must be residents of the South Burnett – with priorities given to Cherbourg locals – as well as either be currently enrolled or wishing to enroll in a university degree, TAFE certificate program or alternative education pathway, or already be a highly-motivated worker.

The bursary commemorates the late Bevan Costello, a Wakka Wakka elder who passed away in 2021.

Mr Costello was an educator for over 30 years, teaching arts, maths, English and Indigenous studies, and acting at times as teacher, head of curriculum, and head of special education.

Over the years, he taught at Murgon State High School, was both the principal and deputy principal at Cherbourg State School, presided over the Barambah campus of the Sunshine Coast’s Arethusa College, and was the head of the Silver Lining School at Ficks Crossing.

Outside of the classroom, Mr Costello was a prolific musician – playing on the famous Muddy Flats Band alongside the late Robert ‘Rocko’ Langton and Harold Chapman – and a strong supporter of local rugby league via the Cherbourg Hornets team.

Mr Costello helped start the Cherbourg Ration Shed Museum, and served two terms on the Cherbourg Aboriginal Shire Council.

The late Cherbourg elder also fought for generational justice, having had a seat on both the Murri Court as well as the Queensland Sentencing Advisory Council.

The Department of Education described Mr Costello as a “valued and respected advocate for education”, celebrating him for including cultural knowledge and themes into his teachings, as well as his strong sense of honesty and justice.

Applications for the 2024 Bevan Costello Senior Bursary will close on 14 June 2024. To apply, visit smartjobs.qld.gov.au/jobs/QLD-CO564911-24