Indigenous Scholars off to Cambridge, London, and Oxford
Four outstanding Indigenous scholars have been awarded scholarships totalling over $500,000, and were celebrated at a reception in Canberra where the High Commissioner Her Excellency Menna Rawlings CMG presented the 2017 Charlie Perkins and Roberta Sykes Scholarships alongside Richard Potok, CEO of the Aurora Education Foundation, and Executive Director of both the Charlie Perkins Scholarship Trust and the Roberta Sykes Indigenous Education Foundation.
“Six years ago, there had never been an Indigenous Australian studying for a full-time degree at either Oxford or Cambridge universities,” explains Richard Potok. “Now, thanks to the Charlie Perkins and Roberta Sykes Scholarships, there have been 37 Indigenous postgraduates accepted to Oxford and Cambridge, including three of this year’s recipients, all on the basis of academic merit.”
“We are incredibly proud of this year’s recipients, whose hard work and dedication to academic excellence is a testament to the pioneering founders of these Scholarships,” Mr. Potok said.
Before the ceremony, the Scholars also met with the Prime Minister, Malcolm Turnbull, at Parliament House.
This year’s Charlie Perkins Scholars are:
- University of New South Wales graduate Ashley Walker, who belongs to the La Perouse Aboriginal community and is a descendant of the Walbunga clan of the Yuin Nation in NSW. Ashley will undertake a Master of Business Administration at the Saïd Business School and Trinity College, Oxford; and
- Western Sydney University and University of New South Wales graduate Brook Andrew, a descendent of the Wiradjuri nation in NSW who will undertake a Doctor of Philosophy in Fine Art at the Ruskin School of Art and St John’s College, Oxford.
The Roberta Sykes Scholars are:
- University of Queensland graduate Baringa Kukoyi, a Turrbal and Gubbi Gubbi woman from Queensland who will undertake a Master of Business Administration at the Judge Business School and Hughes Hall, Cambridge; and
- University of Melbourne, RMIT University and Australian Catholic University graduate Ruby Warber, a descendent of the Noongar people in Western Australia who will undertake a Master of Science in Global Population Health at London School of Economics.
All four of these talented scholars had previously taken part in the annual Aurora Indigenous Scholars International Study Tour, which affords high achieving Indigenous students the opportunity to gain insight into the experience of undertaking postgraduate study at premier institutions abroad, and generates a natural pipeline of potential scholarship applicants.
“The Charlie Perkins and Roberta Sykes Scholarships are outstanding initiatives that we are proud to support,” said High Commissioner Rawlings.
“I am certain each of the recipients tonight will make an extraordinary contribution to Australia’s future, as the many former recipients continue to do so.”
For more information on the Charlie Perkins Scholarship trust head to www.perkinstrust.com.au, or to see more about the Roberta Sykes Indigenous Education Foundation, visit www.robertasykesfoundation.com.