Intelligence, international relations … where could a Defence University Sponsorship take you?
Wednesday 24 February 2016
We spoke to Matthew Connolly, a descendent of the Muruwari and Kullili people of far western Queensland and 2015 recipient of the Defence Indigenous University Sponsorship Program. Matthew is now in the final semester of his Bachelor of Arts majoring in geography and spatial science at the University of Queensland. His final semester studies include a mini thesis on remote sensing, and courses in climate change and environmental management.
Matthew explains how the Defence Sponsorship Program has helped him during his studies and in making informed decisions about employment pathways upon graduation.
“The Sponsorship took away the strain of general expenses likes my travel fares, stationary and food while I was at uni, which allowed me to focus more on my actual studies and spend more quality time in classes and at university. I also worked less which allowed me to have more study time and learn new things without the added pressure of work.”
The Defence Indigenous University Sponsorship Program (DIUSP) supports students that are enrolled in an undergraduate degree or enabling program that leads to an undergraduate degree, in a field that contributes to Defence capability. Of course, Defence offers a lot more than military careers – Defence employees cover fields as diverse as communications, finance, health, international policy, law, management, project management, science and technology (the full list of Defence APS Job Families is here and the full list of Defence ADF Job Families is here).
Matthew was paired up with a mentor within the Department to help him in navigating his studies and plan for a career in Defence focused on his passion for geography and spatial science. He hopes to contribute specialist knowledge in Geographical Information Systems (GIS) and remote sensing.
“Receiving the Defence Sponsorship has strengthened my interests in intelligence and international relations. After making contact with a senior member of Defence he is now mentoring me. We've discussed what I intend to do in the future and ways in which I can make my ambitions a reality. In my last semester, I am already thinking about what subjects will help in my career in Defence and what I want to do professionally beyond university. My focus is on spatial technologies so I intend to complete subjects that will aid in giving me a stronger application to Defence.”
While the Sponsorship does not require students to work with Defence after they graduate, it is a criteria that students have an interest in working in Defence. For Matthew,
“It is a massive ambition of mine to work with the Department of Defence after I graduate. I'm really interested in working on projects that can directly improve our safety and lifestyle in Australia. Also being a part of a team that is highly driven and successful in what they do is important to me. I would like to contribute by utilising my specialist training in Geographical Information Systems and remote sensing.”
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, with:
a) Up to 10 x $3,000 sponsorships for undergraduate programs (to cover costs associated with one full-time year of on-campus or distance study); and
b) Up to 5 x $1,500 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).
Aurora is helping with the administration of DIUSP scholarships on behalf of the Department of Defence. If you have any questions or enquiries about the 2016 Defence Indigenous University Support Program don't hesitate to contact the Scholarships Team at:
phone: 02 9310 8408 or 02 9310 8407
Applications close April 3rd - don't miss out on this great opportunity.