Tuesday, July 31, 2012

New England Aboriginal students Oxbridge bound

I missed this one at the end of May, but it also seems to have been missed by the New England media.

On 30 May, the British High Commissioner to Australia, His Excellency Mr Paul Madden, announced in the presence of the Minister for Tertiary Education, Senator Chris Evans, the 2012 recipients of the Charlie Perkins Scholarship, a scholarship that assists Indigenous Australians to pursue postgraduate study at Oxford and Cambridge Universities.

Established in 2009 in memory of Dr Charlie Perkins AO, the first Indigenous Australian man to graduate from university, the scholarship is valued at over £33,000 (AU$53,000) per annum and includes all living expenses and tuition fees. The scholarship programme is managed by the Charlie Perkins Scholarship Trust and jointly supported by the Australian Government, the British Government (through the Chevening Scholarships Programme), Rio Tinto, the Pratt Foundation, the Development Office and Vice Chancellor at the University of Oxford, the Cambridge Commonwealth Trust, the Cambridge Australia Trust, the McCusker Foundation and various other philanthropies and individuals.

The photo from Sydney's Daily Telegraph via the Australian (link below) shows PM Gillard with, from left to right, Lilly Brown, Kyle Turner and Krystal Lockwood. Two of the three recipients belong to New England Aboriginal language groups.

2012 Charlie Perkins Scholarship recipientsFrom Armidale, Krystal Lockwood is a Gumbaynggirr and Dhungutti woman. Gumbangerri territory stretches from the southern bank of the Clarence River down to the Nambucca River valley. Dhungutti territory is occupied the adjoining Macleay River valley to the south.  

Krystal has just finished her Criminology and Criminal Justice degree with 1st class honours at Griffith University. By the way Griffith, Armidale is not just (and I quote)  a "rural town" in NSW. Get real, why don't you!

Krystal has a passion for criminal justice issues and criminological research. Her honours thesis considered the impact of race on judicial decisions to imprison and Krystal is keen to make a difference in addressing the over-representation of Indigenous people in the criminal justice system in Australia.  She has been accepted to the MSc in Evidence Based Social Intervention at Green Templeton College, Oxford.

Lilly Brown grew up in Western Australia but is also is a Gumbaynggirr woman, proud too of her Scottish and English heritage.  She is currently completing Honours in Indigenous Studies at the University of Melbourne (she completed her undergraduate degree at the University of Western Australia (UWA). Lilly’s interests lie in the area of knowledge production and dissemination, educational policy development, the link between knowledge and power, and the value of education as a tool to affect positive social change.  Lilly has been accepted to the MPhil in Politics, Development and Democratic Education at Trinity College, Cambridge, making her the first Indigenous Australian to undertake a postgraduate or undergraduate degree at Cambridge.

The third student, Kyle Turner, grew up in South East Queensland but is an Aboriginal man of Wiradjuri and Irish descent. The Wiradjuri language group occupy the largest of all territories in NSW in the centre and west of the state, extending into the sought. Kyle currently works as a Senior Epidemiologist and Lead Researcher for Queensland Health in the Deadly Ears Program and holds a Bachelor of Archaeological Practice (1st class honours) and a Masters of Applied Epidemiology from the Australian National University (ANU).  Kyle is looking forward to building on his already considerable research skills and to improving the health and wellbeing of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders.  He has been accepted to the DPhil in Public Health at Jesus College, Oxford.

One of Kyle's parents drew attention to this you tube video on Charles Perkins with this comment: "My son Kyle Turner is going to Oxford University in 2012 because of this great man's legacy and belief in education." It somehow seems appropriate to finish this post with that video.


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