Department of Defence enabling pathways into university and future career aspirations.
Thursday 19 March 2015
This month we had the privilege of interviewing past Defence Indigenous University Sponsorship Program (DIUSP) recipient Kymberlee Finn. Kymberlee is currently studying a Bachelor of Counter Terrorism, Security and Intelligence through Edith Cowan Universityand is also a Defence APS member who has taken leave without pay to continue her studies. Kymberlee was more than happy to share her experience working with the Department of Defence and talk about the support they have given her to create a pathway into University and think about future career aspirations.
Kymberlee had a tough time at high school and didn’t finish year 12, but she still wanted to study.
“I started a traineeship with Defence in February 2012 and I did a couple of rotations through the area and I was offered a job, a permanent web developer position by October. …I had done a Certificate IV with Defence and I ended up doing my Diploma in Government in that short period of time, so I worked for a full year in that position and then I decided I wanted to study at university. I started seeing a tutor and found a mentor in Defence, and we had a big talk about what I should do next and what my end goals were.”
Kymberlee’s goal is to be an Intelligence Officer, and her mentor helped her work out the best pathway for her to achieve that goal. They agreed she should go through the APS graduate program and then apply for a role as Intelligence Analyst.
She is right on track to achieving this goal. Kymberlee is now in her second year of a Bachelor of Counter Terrorism Security and Intelligence degree and is about to start her double major in International Relations and Politics and Criminology.
“I’ve always been very interested in knowing why people do what they do. So when I found this course in Perth in Western Australia at Edith Cowan University (that is the only one in the whole world that’s designed for Intelligence, Security and Counter Terrorism), I decided to apply, with the help of Defence. I got into the program so I packed up my whole life from Canberra, away from my two sisters and my mum and moved to Perth.”
Kymberlee applied for the Defence Scholarship in her first year, and found it took the pressure off trying to cover her living costs so that she could focus on her studies.
“I was able to live on campus which helped me study and when I received my scholarship it was at a really hard time in my life because I was trying to work and pay off rent which was very stressful. The scholarship actually helped me pay off my rent for the full year and live a bit more comfortably. It really, really helped me, because I fully believe to this day that if I didn’t live on campus I wouldn’t have got the results that I did.”
Kymberlee values the support she has received through Edith Cowan University and the way she was able to form supportive networks via the Indigenous Support Unit Kurongkurl Katitjin, Centre for Indigenous Australian Education and Research.
“I’m very close with them because they were my contact when I did my traineeship in 2012. They helped me find my mentors and wrote me a letter as well for uni when I first applied. I went to them in my first week and they offered to be my family while I was here. I’ve always been very involved in the Indigenous community in Defence, so coming here and being involved in the Indigenous community at my university was what I knew I should do. The first thing I learnt in the first week was that it’s not what you know, but who you know.I’m naturally very friendly, but I've not always felt very confident in my academic life, but making networks and talking to people has increased my confidence.”
The Department of Defence is currently seeking to support current or prospective students that are studying an undergraduate degree, or an enabling program that leads to an undergraduate degree, in a field that contributes to Defence capability.
a) There are up to ten $6000 sponsorships for undergraduate programs consisting of two payments of $3000 (these payments are to cover costs associated with one full-time year of on-campus or distance study); or
b) Up to ten $1500 sponsorships consisting of one payment of $1500 for university enabling programs (these payments are to cover costs associated with a one full-time year of on-campus or distance study); want to search for enabling programs available in Australia? click here
Read here about the Defence Indigenous University Sponsorship Program or if you have any questions or enquiries don't hesitate to contact the Scholarships Team at:
phone: 02 9310 8408
Applications close 27 March 2015 - don't miss out on this great opportunity for support in achieving your career aspirations!