The University of New England’s Oorala Aboriginal Centre, in partnership with the Aboriginal Housing Office (AHO), has provided an initial six students with University Accommodation Grants, allowing them to concentrate on their studies without the toll of housing stress.
The idea of the grants were conceived last year when Oorala formed a partnership with the AHO to run a successful pilot of the Grants initiative.
Greg Davison, Director of the Oorala Centre, says the initiative’s objective is to support students in building an environment that will help them succeed in their studies.
“Being a student and juggling a work, life, study balance can be very difficult at times, and can be a barrier to successfully completing university,” Mr Davison said.
“The AHO University Accommodation Grants assist students with rental costs, which helps alleviate housing stress and takes away some of the worry about domestic arrangements so that students can invest more time in study.”
Belinda Cashman, AHO Project Officer for Strategic Programs, recently visited Oorala to congratulate the Accommodation Scholarship recipients and hand out certificates.
The recipients are Brittanee Nash (Bachelor of Biomedical Sience), Curston Small (Bachelor of Accounting), Emily Bishop (Bachelor of Education (Secondary Science)), Mollie Jackson (Bachelor of Criminology/Bachelor of Laws), Susan Chambers (Bachelor of Medical Science) and Kaitlyn Sawtell (Bachelor of Criminology).
Emily, who has been working two jobs to make ends meet, spoke for all the recipients when she said that the grant would give her more time to spend on her studies, and as a result, she felt more optimistic about her future as a student.
“Oorala and the AHO have a shared vision for our students,” Mr Davison said. “We want them to succeed, and this initiative has been developed in the hope that it helps them to get the best possible outcome from their UNE journey.”
Image L-R: Emily Bishop, Brittanee Nash, Mollie Jackson and Curston Small.