Profile: Lucinda Stewart, Wadi Wadi by Rebecca Harcourt 26 February 2014 Where did you grow up? I am a proud Wadi Wadi women of the Yuin Nation, on the South Coast of New South Wales. I grew up there in Nowra until I was 18 – then I moved to Sydney for university. Who are your role models and why? My parents would have to be my biggest role models. They have always been very strong and determined people. They have big expectations of my siblings and me, and they are always helping everyone. Something my dad always says to me is that his dad worked hard and provided the best life for his kids, so that’s why my dad works hard, to provide the best life for his kids. So it’s my turn to work hard to provide an even better life for my family. I can always turn to my parents and know they will be there for me. When did you first hear about Nura Gili, UNSW? I first heard about Nura Gili when I applied and went to UNSW Indigenous Winter School, back in 2009. It’s funny, my science teacher gave me the forms to apply for the program and I didn’t really get along with the science teacher, so I thought it was strange for him to give me the forms. However I soon realised that there was a reason for this. He saw a potential in me that I didn’t even know! I didn’t think that university was an option for me. Winter School opened up my eyes to the future, a bright future! I came back to Winter School the following year and I couldn’t speak highly enough to everyone about the program. I even conned a few cousins to apply. As soon as I finished year 12, I participated in the UNSW
Indigenous Pre-Law Program. It was honestly amazing. I got to experience first-hand living in college, Nura Gili and all the support they have for their students, and of course what to expect at university. I felt comfortable because I knew students from the previous Winter School’s that I had attended, but I made even more friends at Pre-Programs that I am still close friends with now, I consider them my family. Nura Gili staff made the
transition from high school to university a breeze! I knew then that university was right for me and that UNSW was the university that I wanted to attend. Now in your 4th year of an Arts/ Law Degree, can you share about your student experiences? I am majoring in Indigenous Studies and Criminology. I really enjoy the Indigenous studies classes as I also get the opportunity to educate people in my classes with my insight into growing up as an Aboriginal woman.
I also enjoy my criminology classes, as criminal law is the reason I study law. The reason I study a Law/Arts Degree is because I think that is the easiest way I can help my people. Too many Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people are caught up in the criminal justice system and we need our young people to step up and stop this from happening. I also have an internship with Qantas – in the Qantas Community Team as I love working closely with the community, especially helping people less fortunate then myself. I have the best team that are passionate about what they do. My team work closely with the community so we do a range of projects and events from charity drives, to fundraising, to organising events and beyond I have been with Qantas for the past two years. My journey to Qantas started back in Winter School 2010 on a field trip with the Australian School of Business. I had a great experience there and I set my mind on working for Qantas. I absolutely love my internship and I encourage any Indigenous person who attends university to get an internship as this is your opportunity to gain entry into the footpath to the corporate world. I also love playing basketball on a weekly basis. You continue to be really involved with Nura Gili, can you share some of your highlights? The last few years I have been involved with organising the Indigenous University Games which I love, especially meeting all
the deadly Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people around the country. I also have been involved with Walama Muru, which is a joint initiative of Nura Gili and Student Arc Association – this program involves a group of UNSW students both Indigenous and non-Indigenous working together to fundraise money all year round and then go into a chosen Indigenous community and work on community projects that they may not have the time, money or resources to do. As a Nura Gili Ambassador I love going around to schools and expo’s to talk to students and the general public about what UNSW have to offer and also sharing my experience at university. I have also supervised Winter School for two years and recently been a Pre-Programs Supervisor. I have spoken on countless Nura Gili panels and also work at the front desk of Nura Gili. I get involved in everything that I can and I can’t speak highly enough for Nura Gili. What are you goals after you graduate? At this stage I’m trying to concentrate on doing well while I am at university, but I want to go into the Qantas graduate program. It would be great to work and travel at the same time while gaining experience, so to me it would be a win-win! What are your top 3 tips for Nura Gili students who are about to start their first year @UNSW? 1. Be organised with time management, as assignments and exams come all at the
one time and if you are unprepared you will be overwhelmed with work. 2. Network! It is important that you start from day one meeting new people; in the future you never know when you may need their help. 3. Have fun! University years go by quick, so while you are working hard on getting your degree, don’t forget to enjoy yourself. What are your top 3 tips for other Indigenous students who are thinking about coming to study here? 1. Spend some time at Nura Gili, they have the answers to everything! And if they don’t know, they soon find out. 2. Know what you want to achieve while at university, so that you stay on track. 3. The last is simple, UNSW is the best and you have a Nura Gili family here that will support you through anything. So just know that you will be in the best hands possible. What does Nura Gili mean to you? Nura Gili means a place of fire and light and to me Nura Gili means family. Nura Gili has always provided me with support and family that I could rely on. The facilities that we have help to maintain this place that we call home at university and there is always people around and willing to have a yarn – just like back home in our own communities.