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Turning dreams into reality

Tuesday, 27 September 2011


More than 200 Indigenous high school students have been inspired to explore the opportunities that a tertiary education can offer at the Dreaming@ECU event at Edith Cowan University (ECU) recently.

The attendees also saw firsthand how tertiary education has already benefited fellow Indigenous students, with the presenting of three Perth Airport Indigenous Scholarships and the ECU Vice-Chancellor’s Indigenous Australian Scholarship, each worth $5000, at the event.

The annual Dreaming@ECU saw high school-aged Indigenous students from across the state enjoy a day filled with fun activities, while also learning about ECU courses, and why tertiary education is a great option for school leavers.

The program included guest speaker Narelda Jacobs, newsreader from Perth's Channel 10; Bryte MC, a young Indigenous Hip Hop artist originating from Brisbane; a Didgeridoo competition; and a showcase of ECU's courses, including broadcasting, nursing and motorsport.

The day culminated in the awarding of $20,000 worth of scholarships to Indigenous students from ECU.

Perth Airport’s Chief Operating Officer, Dr Peter Cock, along with ECU Vice-Chancellor Professor Kerry Cox, presented the Perth Airport Indigenous Scholarships to:
  • Bachelor of Creative Industry student Korrine Bennell, Bunbury;
  • Bachelor of Arts (Education)/Bachelor of Arts (Creative Arts) student Courtney Lewis, Mundaring; and
  • Bachelor of Music student Tyler Michie, Warwick.

The scholarships are appointed by a committee made up of representatives from Perth Airport, ECU and Perth Airport’s Indigenous Steering Group.

Westralia Airports Corporation established the scholarships in 2010 and will award a total of $90,000 over five years to fund six undergraduate ECU students. Each scholarship pays $5000 for the duration of the student’s course.

Dr Cock said:

“As the owners and operators of Perth Airport, we acknowledge the significance of the land on which we operate to the Noongar people.”

“Perth Airport, the traditional owners and other Aboriginal elders entered into an historic Partnership Agreement to engage in good faith, for the ongoing development of Perth Airport and Aboriginal cultural heritage and reconciliation. The Agreement provides the foundation for us to discuss airport planning issues, while also providing direct financial support through community sponsorships and tertiary scholarships.”

Professor Cox also presented the ECU Vice-Chancellor’s Indigenous Scholarship to Bachelor of Science Nursing student Shari Pilkington, from Marangaroo.

Shari is the granddaughter of Doris Pilkington Garima, the WA-based author of the book Follow the Rabbit Proof Fence, which inspired the movie Rabbit Proof Fence.

Shari is a mother of three and a fulltime student. She is a descendant of the Mardu people and some of her relatives still live traditionally in a community in Jigalong, near Newman in WA's north west.

Professor Cox congratulated all of the scholarship recipients on their academic achievements.

“These scholarships are awarded to students not only in recognition for their academic successes here at university, but to help them attain their chosen personal and educational goals,” Professor Cox said.

“Indigenous students are a vastly under-represented group in universities. Events such as Dreaming@ECU, and the awarding of these Indigenous scholarships, are intended to inspire both present and future Indigenous students to attain a tertiary education and contribute to the prosperity of our communities, as we encourage all of our graduates to do.”

For more information about scholarships available at ECU, see our Scholarships page.

High resolution images from Dreaming@ECU and the scholarships presentation are available on request.

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Media contact:

Corporate Communications
(08) 6304 2131
0402 016 344
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