The University of New England recognised the hard work of 29 Aboriginal students at the recent Autumn Graduation ceremonies.
For one student, Glen Innes local Brooke Kennedy, who graduated with a Bachelor of Science with Honours, the day had special significance.
“I’m the first of my family to attend University and wouldn’t have been able to do it without the support I received from Oorala Aboriginal Centre,” Brooke said.
“I missed out on an Early Entry program into UNE and instead, enrolled in an alternative entry program called the Internal Selection Program (ISP) with Oorala in 2010.
“Oorala provided advice and support and guided me through the process of how to apply to Abstudy to fund my travel, meals and accommodation while in Armidale for the ISP assessment day. They also helped me find and pay for a maths and geology tutor in my first year.
“I am very proud of my successes and will continue my studies when I enrol in a PhD later this year to research domestic dog behaviour.”
Director of Oorala, Mr Greg Davison, a Wiradjuri man from Cowra, NSW also congratulated Brooke on her achievements.
“I remember participating in a similar alternative entry program in the 90’s, completing my Bachelor and Master degrees and now living out my career aspirations at UNE,” Mr Davison said.
“The Internal Selection Program at the Oorala Centre offers a pathway to achieving a Higher Education degree for anyone who wants to build on work experience or current qualifications.”
Brooke agrees and encourages other Aboriginal people to consider the ISP as an alternative entry pathway into UNE.
“Having your friends and family cheer you at graduation is an amazing feeling. I would definitely recommend this pathway to any and all Aboriginal people who wanted to further their education,” Brooke said.
The Oorala Aboriginal Centre is holding their next ISP assessment day on Thursday 9 June and encourage those who want to take their career further to contact them and discuss the options available to achieve their goals.
For more information or to apply call 1800 622 384, go to www.une.edu.au/oorala or search for Oorala Aboriginal Centre on Facebook.