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Scholarship win a great start to NAIDOC Week

Friday, 24 June 2016

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Becoming a teacher and creating positive change is Aboriginal student Mikayla King’s dream and she is well on the way to achieving it.

Mikayla is the recipient of the 2016 Edith Cowan University (ECU) Vice-Chancellor’s Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander Scholarship. The scholarship is ongoing which means Mikayla could receive $2,500 each semester until the completion of her degree.

Mikayla is a Kalkadoon woman originating from Mount Isa, Queensland. She is currently enrolled in her second year of a Bachelor of Education degree studying Early Childhood Studies at ECU.

“I love all aspects of the course and curriculum, but I’m probably most interested in the psychology behind behaviour and learning. A big part of my university life is constantly thinking of ways to support our Aboriginal children’s academic progress, and ways to incorporate Aboriginal elements into day to day literacy and numeracy,” Mikayla said.

“The gap for Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal people is far beyond an academic gap in education, there are gaps in opportunities and in knowledge when working with Aboriginal children and families.” 

While studying at ECU, Mikayla is also working as an Aboriginal and Islander Education Officer (AIEO) with the Department of Education.

 “I want to impart knowledge and understanding about Aboriginal education, learning styles and needs. In return this will support schools in ensuring culturally responsive programs that connect and empower our children will be embedded in day to day practice,” Mikayla said.

As well as working and studying, Mikayla also finds time to manage the Miss NAIDOC Perth Leadership and Empowerment Program for Aboriginal women aged 18-30.

“I was a participant in Miss NAIDOC in 2013 and won the title of Miss Kwobardak (Nyoongar for ‘beautiful), as voted by my peers,” Mikayla said.

“From there committee members asked if I would be part of the working group, and in 2016 an Elder of the program has asked me to step up, and manage the program.

“Juggling Miss NAIDOC with work and study has been challenging, but it’s been so rewarding to be working on this level with well-respected community members.”

Selection for the ECU Vice-Chancellor’s Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander Scholarship is based on academic merit and demonstrated leadership and contribution to the Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander community or University community.

Mikayla will receive her scholarship at a flag raising ceremony at the Mount Lawley Campus on Monday, 4 July to mark the beginning of ECU’s NAIDOC Week celebrations.

ECU NAIDOC Week activities include the Celebration of Indigenous Art and Culture Exhibition in the Kurongkurl Katitjin Gallery, Mount Lawley Campus. The exhibition will reflect the 2016 National NAIDOC theme: Songlines: The living narrative of our nation.

There will also be screenings of the short film Bulunu Milkarri and flag raising ceremonies on all campuses.

For more information about ECU’s NAIDOC Week events see the event webpage.

For more information about scholarships at ECU visit the scholarships webpage.

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