Samantha Faulkner

Samantha Faulkner

I made long-lasting friendships

My parents encouraged me to go to university. In year 12 I did not know what I wanted to do career-wise, let alone go to university.

But, with my parents' encouragement I applied, and was accepted into the Special Entry Scheme at Griffith University, administered by the now Griffith University Murri and Islander (GUMURRII) Centre.

First year was full of new ideas, thoughts and friends, moving out of home and having to be responsible for myself. It was liberating and challenging. I grew up quickly. I failed some subjects in first year (too much partying!).

By second year I managed to do much better, I made long-lasting friendships and built a strong foundation for my career. I was the first Torres Strait Islander to graduate with a Bachelor of Arts (Modern Asian Studies), from Griffith University and the first in my family to graduate from university, setting a good example for my nine year old brother.

I’ve worked with government and non-government agencies and travelled nationally and internationally for work. My current position is Director, Indigenous Health Unit, National Health and Medical Research Council. I’m also very proud to have published a book about my Grandfather’s life story, "Life B'long Ali Drummond: A Life in the Torres Strait".

A university degree set me up for my current pathway.