News Release

Senator Amanda Stoker Addresses Importance of Education and Self-Reliance


Amanda Stoker, Senator for Queensland, addressed an audience of over 500 young single adults ages 18-30 about the importance of education and self-reliance at a graduation celebration held Sunday, 17 March in Brisbane.

Awards were presented to 18 graduates who successfully completed four years of religious study by representatives of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints including Elder Carl R. Maurer, Area Seventy. Senator Stoker also presented and extended her congratulations.

Following brief remarks from the young adults, Senator Stoker as honoured guest, spoke to the group voicing her strong encouragement to, “Learn the principles of self-reliance to be equipped to not just survive, but to help and serve others.”

She related how her humble circumstances whilst growing up in a recession helped her gain understanding and perspective on where people are coming from as she worked on various little odd jobs.

The Senator spoke passionately on how the pursuit of education was essential to becoming independent.

“Education gives you the ability to support yourself. Education helps you to be a self-sufficient unit which is the building block of being able to step up. God wants us to learn as much as we can from this experience.”

Senator Stoker described how a desire to learn and a love of reading helped prepare her to serve her country in Parliament.

She encouraged the audience to be clear on what they stand for. “Education in faith and in a formal sense has given me a set of core convictions on what to believe in and what is non-negotiable.”

Sharing her desire for good people to use their education in a similar manner, Senator Stoker quoted senior Church leader President M. Russell Ballard who said, “Church members – both men and women – should not hesitate, if they desire, to run for public office at any level of government wherever they live.”

She added her own thoughts on this message, “Political life needs you desperately. We are in the position of a tipping point and unless there is a real effort from people of faith to claim their space in the public square, then we will lose it.”

Senator Stoker then took questions from those in attendance.

Closing the meeting, Elder Carl R. Maurer counselled, "Education and life is not about smart, it's about tough, doing the best we can, striving hard and not giving in. Be confident, even if you're not talented."

"In everything in life, you have great opportunities to make the very best of your experiences. With the Lords help, He can make up the difference between where you are now and where you need to be."

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