Scholarships to boost Koorie students’ futures

Twenty-one high-achieving year 10 Koorie students are looking towards a bright future after securing a two year $5,000 Wannik Education Scholarship.

Minister for Education Martin Dixon announced the scholarships today during a ceremony at Parliament House. The scholarships will provide students with support to complete Year 12, leading to improved opportunities to move to higher education and employment.

“This year the scholarship holders have a wide range of aspirations – future teachers, nurses, graphic designers, doctors and artists – and a number of our award recipients will be the first in their family to complete Year 12,” Mr Dixon said.

“This is an outstanding achievement and I am proud that the Napthine Government is able to provide support through the Wannik Education Scholarship Program.”

The two-year scholarships are open to Year 10 Koorie students moving into Year 11.

Among the 2014 scholarship recipients are Charlotte Franks and Alex Honeysett, who have been accepted into the University of Melbourne‟s Kwong Lee Dow Young Scholars Program – an academic enrichment program for high-achieving students.

Mr Dixon said the recent strong growth in the number of Indigenous students completing Year 12 reflected the great work being done across the education system and within the Koorie community, including the Wannik Education Scholarships.

“More Indigenous students are completing Year 12 than ever before, and the percentage of Koorie students entering university has increased from 22 per cent in 2008 to 40.3 per cent in 2013,” Mr Dixon said.

In 2013 a total of 384 Koorie students graduated from Year 12 in Victoria, up from 257 in 2010. Of these, 319 students were from government schools, 28 from Catholic schools and 37 from independent schools.

The Victorian Coalition Government is strongly committed to „closing the gap‟ in Indigenous outcomes, and building a better education system for all Victorian students.

List of 2014 Wannik Education Scholarship recipients:

Nina Birch from Princes Hill Secondary College aspires to go to university and continue studying. She is highly motivated and achieved excellent results in Year 10 due to her dedication and hard work.

Ashleigh Burridge from Bundoora Secondary College wants to study at Latrobe University to become a nurse and midwife and work at the Mercy Hospital. She has consistently achieved best and fairest at netball and been selected to be in the Residential Indigenous Science Experience (RISE) summer program. She is a member of the Australian Indigenous Mentoring Experience (AIME) and taken part in leadership activities with the Koorie Academy of Excellence and the Gamadji Institute.

Stacee Charles from Oberon High School wants to be the first in her family to go to university. She is a proud Gunditjmara/Wemba Wemba girl who has actively participated in the Aspirations Initiative (TAI) Residential Academic Enrichment Program.

David Conybear from Bendigo South East 7-10 College wants to be a policeman and help support young kids to get off the streets. He is an active volunteer at various Indigenous events such as the Melbourne Indigenous Arts Festival and the Dreamtime at the “G”.

Kate Daglas from Newcomb Secondary College wants to study obstetrics or midwifery at university and possibly study overseas. She is a member of the Wathaurong community and an active leader with her peers and continues to achieve high results. She is a participant in the Aspirations Initiative (TAI) Residential Academic Enrichment Program.

Samual Fisher from Thornbury High School wants to go to university and study anthropology, history or archaeology. He completed the Alpine School of leadership and a participant in the Aspirations Initiative (TAI) Residential Academic Enrichment Program.

Jess Fogwell from Horsham College wants to become a teacher. She attended a Richmond Emerging Aboriginal Leaders camp to develop leadership skills, and is a consistently high achiever.

Charlotte Franks from Baimbridge College wants to study art or graphic design at university. She was sponsored to go on a three-week overseas learning experience trip to Italy and has completed a Certificate II in applied language (Italian) in Year 10. She has been awarded a Kwong Lee Dow scholarship by Melbourne University and a consistent high achiever.

Oceania Henry from Warrnambool College wants to study medicine at university and to be a neurosurgeon. She was third place in the Australian Oliphant Science Awards in 2006 and is a member of the Kalay Warriors Dance Group.

Alex Honeysett from Lyndhurst Secondary College gained a Kwong Lee Dow scholarship for aspiring Melbourne University students in 2013, and is a participant in the Australian Indigenous Mentoring Experience program.

Tarsha Kennedy from Vermont Secondary College wants to go to university and to work in the health system. She was 10th place in the state-wide Secondary Schools Cross Country competition, won the Year 10 Sports Award and Academic Excellence Award, and in 2012 won the Project Rocket story writing competition.

Taylah Lester from Oberon High School wants to study creative arts and design in Melbourne and be a graphic designer. She participated in the Aspirations Initiative and participated in the state Calisthenics championships.

Indiah Makeham from Rosebud Secondary College wants to become a teacher. A high achiever in the creative arts, she has won numerous art awards and competitions.

Tyrone Mitchell from Mildura Senior College wants to study teaching or physiotherapy at university. He has won numerous sporting awards and participated in leadership programs such as the MADEC Koori Leadership Workshop and Hope Project.

Dakin Morris from Heywood District Secondary College wants to study agriculture and work in sheep farming. He is an active volunteer and community member, having provided cultural awareness programs to a group of judges as well as helping to run youth camps.

Justyn Moser from Swan Hill College wants to be an aircraft mechanic engineer and join the air force. He participated in the Alpine School in 2012 and a member of the Clontarf program.

Kyralee Murphy from Kurnai College wants to undertake a career in health or teaching. She was selected to be part of the Murra Mallangair Pathways Health Careers Development Program, in Canberra, and presented at the Indigenous Doctors Association Conference. She is heavily involved in the Songlines Youth Program and the Goorin Gamiji Institute Youth Leadership Program.

Michael Naawi from Ararat Secondary College wants to go to university after taking a gap year to return to PNG to learn more of his family heritage. He completed Year 10 a second time by choice so that he is on a pathway to success.

Samantha Roberts from Mornington Secondary College wants to study criminology or engineering at Monash University. She is a consistently high achiever, with the additional challenge of communicating through Auslan. She has represented her community at Moomba for four years, and is a member of the Drum Corps.

Reece Williams from Portland Secondary College wants to complete Year 12 and pursue his passion for football. He has participated in three Korin Gamadji Institute REAL programs at Richmond Football Club.

Lachlan Young from Healesville High School is a high achiever in geography and maths – including participating in the Australian Maths Competition where he achieved distinction on at least two occasions. He wants to attend university.