Graduate story: Ruth Toomey
Manager of Homelessness, Planning and Coordination
Queensland Council of Social Service
Bachelor of Social Science
Ruth Toomey studied a Bachelor of Social Science so she could pursue a 'meaningful' career. As manager of homelessness planning and coordination at Queensland Council of Social Service (QCOSS), she now oversees major community initiatives designed to enhance responses to homelessness and improve housing outcomes across the state.
"I've always been a bit of an activist, a fairly political person. I travelled a lot in my 20s and wasn't really sure what I wanted to do. I worked in travel for a while, but I wanted to do something more meaningful. When I came across the social science degree, and realised you could have a career in social justice, I went for it."
"Having the opportunity to be self-directed with my learning was really good for getting a move-on with my career. Student support services were critical to my success at university, but it's the way that support was provided that was important, it wasn't hand holding. We were encouraged to figure out our own answers to the challenges we were coming up against as much as possible."
At QCOSS, Ruth oversees many partnership projects.
"We have seven homelessness community action plans in partnership with the Department of Communities, Child Safety and Disability Services. We bring together the housing and homelessness sectors, along with support from the broader community, particularly business and philanthropists, to work together around issues of homelessness."