Another way to empower ourselves
A university education was once considered something that few of our people could aspire to or even dream about. That is changing for the better.
Still, we have a long way to go before we can claim that our people are represented in universities at the same level as the rest of the Australian community.
Growing up in my family it was considered essential to obtain a university degree in order to equip yourself with the skills to hold your own in the world. However, I didn’t feel smart enough to go to university, much less pass! My marks weren’t high enough to earn me a place but my parents encouraged me to apply for special entry.
I was lucky enough to be accepted and took a summer school course to learn some studying skills. I was again lucky that the University of New South Wales had a centre for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students and I made some friends as well as meeting some older students who mentored the new students.
I found tertiary studies very hard at first, but I stuck at it and began to understand the system and get better marks. Once I realised that I could do it I also began to enjoy university life and the world of knowledge that was out there.
Of course, there are many paths to education in Indigenous community. We are the inheritors of the world’s oldest continuous culture and our elders share and pass this on to younger generations. Some of our people learn how to fish, hunt and care for the land. University is another way of acquiring skills and empowering our community and ourselves.
As this website demonstrates, there are so many scholarships on offer and, most importantly, heaps of other kinds of support to get you into university and assist you in staying on to complete your degree with flying colours.
I would not have dreamed of going to university without the support and encouragement of my family and the Koori community who helped me along the way. I hope that this Guide will play a part in giving you the support and encouragement you deserve to realise your potential.