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Nura Gili News


Edition 13: June 2014

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This issue: Editorial .............................................................................................................................................. 3 Proposed changes to the Racial Discrimination Act: potential impact on Indigenous Australians. ....... 4 Meet The CEO .................................................................................................................................... 7 New Appointment to Kirby Institute, UNSW Medicine.......................................................................... 9 In Conversation with Amala Groom ................................................................................................... 10 Science Horizons .............................................................................................................................. 13 Driving Change ................................................................................................................................. 15 The Journey: discovering how to consume food for fuel not comfort ................................................. 17 Rianna Tatana .................................................................................................................................. 19 The Power of Education .................................................................................................................... 21 Megan Davis Scholarship for Indigenous Students ........................................................................... 23 ASB Community Forum 10 July 2014 ............................................................................................... 24 Nura Gili on the Road........................................................................................................................ 26 Make UNSW your first choice ........................................................................................................... 27 Nura Gili - About us ........................................................................................................................... 29 Nura Gili News If you would like to contribute ideas, news, letters and / or articles please contact the editor: E: T: 0478492075 If you would like to contribute to Indigenous scholarships for students at UNSW and/or Nura Gili Indigenous Programs Unit please feel free to make initial contact with the Director of Nura Gili Professor Martin Nakata B.Ed Hons PhD Telephone :+61 (2) 93853120 Email: - Prof Nakata's Webpage If you would like further information on Nura Gili’s programs, courses and facilities you are welcome to come and visit and / or contact us: Nura Gili Indigenous Programs Unit Electrical Engineering Building G17 UNIVERSITY OF NEW SOUTH WALES SYDNEY NSW 2052 AUSTRALIA

Telephone: :+61 (2) 93853805 Email: Website:

UNSW CRICOS Provider Code: 00098G | ABN: 57 195 873 179 Balnaves Place – Home of Nura Gili was made possible thanks to a generous donation from The Balnaves Foundation, a private philanthropic organisation established in 2006 by Neil Balnaves AO to provide support to charitable enterprises across Australia.

Global financial services firm UBS has committed to a major investment in support of Indigenous programs at UNSW

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Editorial As our cover highlights the last fortnight has seen many Nura Gili students with their families and friends celebrate their graduations. Great accomplishments spanning many fields from Architecture to Fine Arts, Engineering to Criminology, Marine Science and Management to Aviation, Commerce to Social Work, Economics to Electronical Engineering, Digital Media to Science, Law to Business Administration, Fine Arts to Media to Arts Education. Daily, we have been watching more of our Indigenous graduates don their gowns to join the procession and take the stage to be presented with their graduation certificates including Diplomas, Bachelors and Masters, many coming back to visit Nura Gili after the ceremonies with their families and receiving heartfelt congratulations from students and staff alike. We congratulate:

Sam Alderton-Johnson, BCCJ Des Jaime Alvarez, GradCert George Brown BCom Anne Carmichael, BArtEd Bradley Clarke-Wood BSC Aaron Collins, BA, BSW Steven Fogarty, BCom Rhonda Gee, MArt Jacob Hyland, BE Elizabeth Hart MBA(Exec) Donald Hawkins LLB Linda Kennedy, BArchSt Matthew Martineer, BCom, BEc Justine Nimmett GradCert

Teena McCarthy, BFA Paige Johnson BA Arts Jessica Layt, BMedia Keone Little, BAv Leon Oriti, BE Yale Macgillivray, BA, BFA Elizabeth Russell-Arnot MCDArtDes Damian Shannon, DipProfPrac, BCom Wesley Shaw, BArtEd Ruby Steggles, BDM Rebekah Treacy, BFA; Yanti Ropeyarn BCom Nicole Zaichenko GradCertCom

Congratulations to Nura Gili staff member Farhana Laffernis who also graduated last Friday with her Masters in Development Studies. Meanwhile our current students are in the final stages of their end of semester exams and Nura Gili academic staff are marking final exams papers and /or in the field undertaking research. Nura Gili Students Services & Administration teams, in addition to all their student support, recruitment, employment, budgetary, planning, negotiation and administration services are now finalising preparations for UNSW Indigenous Winter School where a hundred Indigenous high school students will spend a week here in resident at UNSW experiencing for themselves what it is life is like as a student studying here. Many of our current Nura Gili students will be working alongside Nura Gili and UNSW Faculty staff to ensure this year’s Winter School is again a rewarding, challenging and memorable experience - welcoming many more Indigenous students and their families into the Nura Gili Family and the world of UNSW. Thank you to all the contributors to this month’s Nura Gili News and I hope you all enjoy the many stories celebrating the diversity of interests, challenges, opportunities and achievement. Rebecca Harcourt, Editor

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Proposed changes to the Racial Discrimination Act: potential impact on Indigenous Australians.

L-R : Dr Sarah Pritchard SC, Ms Bindi Cole, Dr Leon Terrill, Dr Tim Soutphommasane, Professor Megan Davis. Image by Joseph Mayers.

The Federal Government’s plan to remove section 18C from the Racial Discrimination Act (RDA) was the topic of a public forum hosted by UNSW’s Indigenous Law Centre on Wednesday 4th June. A panel of experts including Race Discrimination Commissioner Dr Tim Soutphommasane; Indigenous artist Bindi Cole and Sydney barrister Dr Sarah Pritchard SC joined Indigenous Law Centre Director, Professor Megan Davis to discuss the proposal, which seeks to remove sections 18C, D and E replacing them with a more limited prohibition. Given the concern in the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community over the Federal Attorney General’s proposal to repeal sections 18C, the Indigenous Law Centre (ILC) felt it was important to provide community members—both Indigenous and non-Indigenous—with an opportunity to understand the reason for the existence of racial vilification laws; as well as the proposed amendments. The Centre has a strong commitment to community legal education through Open Forums. Past forums have included the impact of mining on Aboriginal communities, bush law, racism in sport and constitutional reform.

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Dr Soutphommasane spoke about why sections 18C and D were implemented into the RDA. Section 18C of the RDA makes it unlawful for someone to do an act that is reasonably likely to “offend, insult, humiliate or intimidate” someone because of their race or ethnicity. Section 18D of the RDA contains exemptions which protect freedom of speech. These ensure that artistic works, scientific debate and fair comment on matters of public interest are exempt from section 18C, providing they are said or done reasonably and in good faith. These sections were enacted as a response to recommendations of major inquiries including the Royal Commission into Aboriginal Deaths in Custody. The courts have consistently interpreted sections 18C and 18D as maintaining a balance between freedom of speech and freedom from racial vilification. The majority of complaints under Section 18C have been lodged by Aboriginal people (members of the Jewish community account for the second largest group of complaints). There have been approximately 73 cases before the courts dealing with this section and 19 of those have involved an Indigenous applicant. Around 42 per cent of those cases were upheld including the more well-known case of Eatock v Bolt. It was discussed whether the Federal Government’s proposed changes were triggered by the Eatock v Bolt case; a decision where Fairfax columnist Andrew Bolt was found to have contravened section 18C the RDA by writing a series of articles implying that fair-skinned people who identified as Aboriginal did so for personal gain. Our panellist, Ms Bindi Cole was one of the nine applicants involved in the Eatock v Bolt case. Ms Cole, a successful photographer and new media artist from Melbourne, was able to share her personal experience of being racially vilified in public. Indeed Ms Cole’s moving insight into the impact of racial vilification highlighted how profoundly and seriously affected she was by what was written about her.

Ms Bindi Cole and Dr Tim Soutphommasane. Image by Joseph Mayers.

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The audience ‘Q and A’ session also provided a chance to further scrutinise the Government’s draft Freedom of Speech (repeal s18C) Bill 2014. Members of the audience, as well panel member Dr Pritchard, raised concerns about the lack of evidence for a case to be made for changing the current sections. Following the Open Forum guests joined the Centre for the launch of the Indigenous Law Bulletin and Australian Indigenous Law Review—the only two journals dedicated solely to Indigenous legal issues. The journal launch event was a chance for ILC staff to thank their supporters. Since making a public announcement in April about the Federal Attorney General’s Department’s decision to cut 100 per cent of its funding to the Centre, the ILC has been overwhelmed by messages of support via emails, letters and on social media.

NCIE’s Carla McGrath and April Long. Image by Joseph Mayers.

Anyone wishing to support the ILC can do so by subscribing to the Indigenous Law Bulletin (ILB) or Australian Indigenous Law Review (AILR), or by making a tax-deductible donation at: The ILB and AILR are widely relied upon by many University students as they are the only journal publications dedicated solely to Indigenous legal issues in Australia and overseas. The ILC would like to thank the Open Forum panellists and guests who made both events a great success. A podcast of the Open Forum will be made available to the public shortly via their website: by Rebecca Gallegos, Editor - Indigenous Law Bulletin, Indigenous Law Centre Faculty of Law, UNSW Celebrating our students, alumni, staff and programs across all our communities 6

Meet The CEO

Monday evening, 16th June 2014 saw the Australian School of Business hosting another of its amazing Meet the CEO events. This time the event took place in the Grand Ballroom of the Four Seasons Hotel with four of our Indigenous ASB students volunteering at the event. The event was also attended by Nura Gili’s Jeremey Heathcote, Mick Peachey as well as a number of Indigenous Business leaders invited by Rebecca Harcourt. All those who attended were able to listen to National Rugby League CEO, David Smith talk about numerous topics. They ranged from the plans the National Rugby League has for the future down to who would win the State of Origin game on Wednesday. David Smith spoke candidly about his life and how his background really helps him to do his job. He was a pleasure to listen to and clearly he is very passionate about his job and also the sport itself. I volunteered at the event and had a blast doing so. The night for us started at 4:15 with a bit of set up work and that sort of stuff. We started to check people in at about 5pm, it was a great experience to get to see all of the Alumni of ASB and seeing so many of them was like a light at the end of the tunnel moment, especially for me as a final year student. After we checked in the 250 guests we did a quick pack up and then were able to go into the ballroom and listen to David Smith. As a huge rugby league fan what he had to say about the future direction of the game was really important to me. The way he spoke about the plans to grow the game internationally as well as ensuring that our clubs are set up well and funded properly was amazing. He showed everyone in the crowd that even though his appointment came from left field that he was undoubtedly the best man for the job. Mr Smith was able to not only speak about decisions and plans in business terms and why they are the right move from that perspective but was also able to show how it was good for the game as a whole, be it development or even expansion. During the interview audience members were able to ask questions from the floor or even via Twitter to try and win 2 tickets to the State of Origin; needless to say all of us that attended where trying to win those tickets! David Smith handled all of the questions phenomenally even the tricky ones about how the game should approach the AFL’s expansion into Celebrating our students, alumni, staff and programs across all our communities 7

Western Sydney and the Gold Coast. After the interview we were able to meet David and get a photo with him, Mick was in his element talking with David about footy and we all really enjoyed getting to meet him. Overall volunteering at this event was great fun for me. Hearing David speak about the game I love and also just getting his perspective on some of the real issues that he has to deal with was amazing. He has a job that enables him to mix business and sport all into one and that’s something I would definitely like to be able to do when I am older. One of the other volunteers, Dylan Booth turned to me afterwards and said “that’d be the best job to do, run the NRL!” and I’d have to agree with him. The event really just made it all sink in a little bit more that soon I’m going to be an ASB Alumni and get to go to events like this and maybe even one day have a job like David Smith. By Mitchell Heritage Mitchell is in his final year studying a Bachelor of Commerce with Majors in International Business and Business Law. Mitchell first came to UNSW to attend UNSW Indigenous Winter School in high school followed by UNSW Indigenous Pre Program in Business after finishing year 12. He currently coaches the Uni Games mixed touch football team, plays mixed premier league for UNSW and the National Touch League for the Sydney Mets. Mitchell also plays Rugby Union for UNSW Colts.. If you would like to watch the Meet the CEO interview with David Smith please click here:

Above L-R Mitchell Heritage, Dylan Booth, David Smith, Makenzie Russell, Ashley Finnegan and Mick Peachey.

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New Appointment to Kirby Institute, UNSW Medicine

Marlene Kong, above, is an Aboriginal doctor from the Worimi people of Port Stephens. She is currently enrolled at UNSW as a candidate for a PhD commencing in 2012. She is working under the School of Public Health and Community Medicine Faculty, specifically within the Muru Marri Indigenous Health Unit. As a doctoral candidate, she participates in the Future Health Leaders Program, commencing in 2013. She is also in her third year of Public Health Medicine training with the Faculty of Public Health Medicine Royal Australasian College of Physicians. She is currently employed by the NSW Ministry of Health, occupying a Commonwealth Specialist Training Program position. This 3 year position concludes very soon after which Marlene will start in a new job with the Kirby Institute for Infection and Immunity in Society, UNSW Medicine. Her new job title is Program Head of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Program. Although now based in Sydney, Marlene has spent many years working as a GP in her past across the nation. Places have included Darwin (Danila Dilba AMS), Lismore, Hunter Valley/Newcastle (Awabakal AMS), Glendale, Cardiff, Port Stephens (Tomaree polyclinic), Woolgoolga, Nambucca Heads (Darrimba Maara AMS), Launceston (Tas), Port Hedland (Wirraka Maya AMS), Ravenshoe (Qld – Mamu Health AMS), Weipa, Tom Price (WA), Yulara (Central Australia), Yuelumu, Papanya, Docker River and Broken Hill (Maari Ma AMS). Her work has also taken her overseas to Africa with a humanitarian organisation during 2003 and 2004. Countries included South Sudan and Sierra Leone. Marlene has done her International Master of Public Health at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem in 2005-2006 academic year. Returning frequently to her home country in Port Stephens, Marlene finds connecting to her family important in keeping her well-grounded. Image and words courtesy of Marlene Kong Celebrating our students, alumni, staff and programs across all our communities 9

In Conversation with Amala Groom Listening to Amala is compelling as she shares frankly the different turns, choices, challenges, circumstances, struggles and harsh realities eclipsed with epiphanies that have struck and/or illuminated her path so far. As an artist she straddles consciousness of social justice, advocacy, activism, grass roots sensibilities integrated with an innate connectedness to Tjukurrpa –her deep felt knowing and belonging part of long desinence that continues to travel beside her, guiding her in her wakefulness. Amala is sharp witted, heartfelt and courageous in person as with her work - exhibitions at the cutting edge illuminating truths and painful thresholds belying half- truths and propaganda that can so often be mitigated across the mainstream. She has travelled the world learning and fighting with UN advocating for justice and at the same time has penetrated back deeply into her past, present and future, learning and journeying with the Songmen and women who continue to cultivate their lores of the land and beings, transmitting strong and tough teachings thousands of years in the makings. Her return to studies at COFA and Law are coupled with energising commitment across her many community and professional roles underpinned by bringing far-reaching change with sustainability. The medium of her art is as eclectic as her messages collaborative, powerful and grounded with facts for maximum impact. She honours her mentors and has finessed her own practice informed by drawing on traditional modes of being and impact –sensory, anima transgressions that weave and collate gently infusing til they reveal their make. Amala has embraced her new life an opportunity to engage and mesmerise deep contemplations across many knowledges and practices of thought- philosophy- lore- law - art –life, drawing from the shelves of art literature and tenancies to illuminate contemporary ways of revisiting and reassessing the many practices and challenges of today, depicting lenses and frames of seeing, shedding lights and angles that eclipse the viewer to re-consider and reequip their own “knowns”, viewpoints and process for judgements. In her being, in her practice Amala is rekindling engagement with our cultural landscapes through being present in this moment observing the fabrics created in our society- whether some see as dissonance, I see it as a renaissance one which enriches our lives through embracing the souls of our beings. By Rebecca Harcourt Below The Cider Series 2014 (3 bottles) Amala Groom

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Above Yindyamarra Roll 2014 (honour roll ) by Amala Groom photograph by Liz Warning)

Amala Groom is a proud Wiradjuri woman who works across various fields to promote the rights and interests of Aboriginal Peoples in the advancement and implementation of Aboriginal sovereignty and self-determination. Amala is a social justice advocate, artist, a researcher and network builder. She is currently studying fine arts and law at COFA and Faculty of Law at UNSW. Amala remains active in grassroots campaigning and is a supporter of the national Aboriginal Tent Embassy movement to reclaim Aboriginal control of Aboriginal Affairs. Since 2009, Amala has been assiduously engaging at the international level and has attended and participated in eight United Nations forums. Her experiences gathered from her vast international and domestic travels have helped shaped her view on the colonial project, the tactics of imperialism that have been used to colonise Indigenous Peoples throughout the world as well as develop practical approaches to recovering from the impacts of colonisation both spiritually, socially and politically. As a means of cultural expression Amala began painting in 2012 and her work ‘Thank you’ was highly commended by the Parliament of NSW Aboriginal Art Prize 2013. This work was a segue to her first solo exhibition The Cider Series launched in January 2014 by the Lord Mayor of Sydney, Clover Moore. Amala is proud to be currently be working with Ngalaya Aboriginal Corporation (NSW network of Aboriginal legal professionals) developing and implementing their strategic plan. Her first production credit for B is for Boong will be appearing on National Indigenous Television (NITV) in 2014. Amala sits on various boards and committees and is a delegate to the National Congress of Australia’s First Peoples.

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above Thank you 2013 (blue bottle) Amala Groom

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Science Horizons The length I have travelled, the things I have achieved were a group effort. It is hard to deny the importance of community, friends, family and those who came before me as a young scientist. Left Bradley Clarke-Wood

As an undergraduate at UNSW, I studied widely in the field of biological sciences seemingly unable to pick a specialisation. I took plant ecology, human evolution and astrobiology subjects all the while hoping I would find that one field that spoke to me and would allow me to make a statement about our world. In the last semester of my undergraduate degree, mildly panicked about my future, I contacted a plucky doctoral candidate at (the now) Centre for Ecosystem Science (CES) by the name of Rachel Blakey, seeking her advice. This was by far the best decision I have made as a student of science, to date. Rachel was demonstrating in a course I was enrolled in but it wasn’t until the field trip of that course that I actually met her. Literally, it was a dark and stormy night, and Rachel needed a volunteer to help her bring down these large bat traps, which were out in the middle of nowhere. I volunteered and on the car trip to the traps, I decided an honours project involving bats was on my horizon after hearing Rachel’s enthusiasm for her craft. Rachel then connected me with Kim Jenkins and Brad Law, and together they became a highly supportive supervisorial team, for which I am very grateful. Thanks to their guidance, I was able to show a correlation between coastal lagoon degradation and a decline in insectivorous bat activity and diversity. We also determined that toxic metals were present at degraded lagoons at environmentally significant levels. These metals were found to be six times the lowest-observable-adverse-effects levels for small mammals in at least one insectivorous bat. This project attracted the attention of Warringah, Shoalhaven City and Pittwater Councils, who pledged money to support the research. Their contribution enabled the scope of the project to expand and allowed us to better inform them of issues relating to the biodiversity in their district. My honours year was an amazing experience thanks to the mentorship of Rachel, Kim and Brad as well as the camaraderie I gained from becoming a part of CES. I have fond memories of Rachel teaching me to drive a manual land cruiser through the Koondrook-Perricoota Forest while dodging emus. I have fond memories of driving through the Strzlecki Desert assisting with Dingo research. I have fond memories of turning some random park bench in Kioloa into a makeshift lab where Rachel and I collected hair samples from bats by torch light. I have fond memories of standing in waders in a Dee Why culvert with Brad waiting for bats to emerge from their slumber. Celebrating our students, alumni, staff and programs across all our communities 13

From all this I have gained a research assistant position at the Centre and a passion for further research either by pursuing my own doctorate or acquiring an applied ecologist position out in the wider world. These moments have contributed to my development as a young researcher and it is important to acknowledge that. In the acknowledgements of my thesis while also citing my supervisors and family, I thought it was important to recognise the Tharawal, Guringai, Biripi and Worimi Peoples as the traditional custodians of the respective lands where I conducted my fieldwork, and reinforce the fact that these areas have always been places of living, teaching and learning. It will be a crucial step in the process of reconciliation to acknowledge fully the contribution of the First Nations and the first people to our understanding of the world and science, while also recognising that incorporated into traditional life is a brand of scientific method. For example, the development of trade routes based on astronomy or intricate numerical systems, largely neglected in assumptions about Indigenous history and culture. Australians should know the great man on the $50 note as more than just that. His contribution to mechanics and physics should be common knowledge. Australian scientists have an important role to play in reconciliation and that role is to engage with the traditional custodians of the areas where they conduct their research, involve them and then acknowledge their contribution, as common practice. I have been encouraged by a willingness at the Centre for Ecosystem Science, for greater collaboration with the researchers at Nura Gili and the wider Indigenous community, particularly when it comes to supervising the next generation of scientists. Such collaboration can only be positive as stronger ties and a diversity of views can lead to better outcomes. Better outcomes for conservation and better outcomes for those participating in research.

above- Termeil State Forest

By Bradley Clarke-Wood. Bradley is a Research Assistant at the Centre for Ecosystem Science Bradley’s family was from Wellington and Gwabegar in Western NSW before moving to Sydney.

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Driving Change

Above: Marlee Ramp with Molisa Carney Image courtesy of Driving Change program

Most people don’t think of learning to drive as a public health issue, but talking to Marlee Ramp, a second year Medicine student here at UNSW, puts a whole new perspective on having a driver’s licence. In 2013 Marlee took a ‘gap year’ from her studies and worked as a research assistant at the prestigious George Institute for Global Health on a project called ‘Driving Change’. This community based program assists young Indigenous people to overcome obstacles and navigate their way through the licensing system in order to gain their driver’s license. “Having a license increases a person’s opportunities for employment, increases their ability to travel around the community... conversely, not having a driving license continues to be a major barrier to addressing many recognized gaps in the health and social wellbeing of an individual. This is particularly true for those living on the outskirts of the city or in rural and remote areas and for those with limited education”. Marlee explained that some of the barriers young people face in getting their driver’s license range from problems getting their learner’s license due to lost birth certificates, lack of access to a car or driving instructor, right through to the inability to pay outstanding fines in order to have their licence restored. The Driving Change program provides a suite of services to help young people to address these barriers and progress towards getting their license. Working on the program brought Marlee into contact with a number of community groups and individuals as she helped to set up community consultations and train youth workers to recruit and run mentor programs. As well as learning valuable skills in community consultation, project management, data management and coding, Marlee says she has gained a whole new perspective on her career choice of medicine. Celebrating our students, alumni, staff and programs across all our communities 15

Most of all she saw how learning to drive for many young Indigenous people is their “first goal to kick” which then gives them the confidence to take on other challenges. Marlee saw first-hand how the work that she and others put into the program really ‘paid off’ and discovered how rewarding it was to be able to ‘give back’ to communities. This has been a real motivator for Marlee as she returns to her studies this year.

Marlee’s own interest in medicine as a possible career began while still at school in her home town of Mareeba, just outside of Cairns in northern Queensland. Observing family members suffering from chronic diseases such as diabetes and cardio-vascular disease gave her an interest in doing some voluntary work at the local Aboriginal Medical Service. Before long, Marlee was heading off to Sydney at the ripe old age of 17, to participate in the UNSW Pre-Medicine program and ultimately to enrol at UNSW as a full time medicine student. The courage and commitment Marlee has shown is an inspiration to any young person thinking about taking on a challenge, whether it be learning to drive, or moving away from home and embarking on university studies. Marlee’s sense of excitement about the Driving Change program is quite infectious. Her confidence in speaking about all aspects of this issue is a great advertisement for the Driving Change project and will no doubt inspire people to get involved. For anyone who would like to know more please go to by Lisa Watts Lisa Watts recently joined the staff at Nura Gili as an Academic Support Officer working mainly with Indigenous students in the Faculty of Medicine. Lisa previously worked in the Rural Clinical School at UNSW where she was involved in medical education research projects including a study on graduate destinations; developing a program to teach clinical ethics to medical students in rural settings and more recently exploring students' use of Apps to assist with time-management.

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The Journey: discovering how to consume food for fuel not comfort From the first few weeks of starting this challenge, I knew it wasn’t going to be easy. You can’t simply turn into a figure model overnight. But this is something I’ve always wanted to do. When I was on the home straight of what was a 20 week transformation, it was more of a mental than physical transformation. In the last week leading into my first International Body Building Association (INBA) competition it was so hard coming to terms with the fact that I had done it, I had stuck it out and achieved what had I set out to do. Of course, there were moments, when I felt so exhausted that I skipped training and decided it was just best to go home and rest. I caved in, but I persevered. I surrounded myself with constructive and positive people who encouraged me, and kept me on track. And as I persisted I saw results. And as I saw results the more eager I was to succeed. The journey has been a long and unpredictable one, so many ups and downs. So many turning points, steep hills and downward runs. There are so many different aspects involved in sculpturing and shaping your body into its sharpest and leanest condition. It’s not just a matter of a 20 -min run on the weekend or dieting on broccoli and chicken for a week and convincing yourself that that’s good enough to allow yourself a bottle of wine and a large pizza on Saturday night. It’s much more complicated than that. The life of a bodybuilder takes self-restraint and obedience to a whole other level. I could go on all day about the ins and outs of counting your macros, portion control, and when and how to eat but this has essentially been a path of self-discovery – about me and my body. More importantly this process has been about finding appropriate and healthy coping mechanisms to manage the hormonal changes, mood swings, profound drops in energy levels and all those sweet cravings that arise from placing your body into a caloric deficit. You see training is the easy part, I love the rush of endorphins, the self-accomplishment, and gains and improvements in general health. But it really does depend on what you’re using to fuel and operate your body. When I look back I remember the moments when I programmed my mind to abstain from the delicious-looking muffin , turn down the dinner date that would have been accompanied by an appetizing burger and fries,and refrain from milk and sugar in my coffee on a chilly morning.. All of these minor but challenging instances could have either made or broken me. It wasn’t a matter of complete restriction from all that‘s good, but a matter of learning discipline, control and will power. I discovered how to consume food for fuel and not for comfort, which let me tell you; it was one of the hardest lessons I’ve had to learn!

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I may be talking about food too much but I never realised how hard it would be to maintain a strict diet and training program for 16 weeks. However, all these moments culminated in me walking on stage at the INBASydney Championships on 4 May.. I would never have predicted taking out first place, or even how much I had changed in that time. What I had accomplished before taking the stage was already something to be commended. The greatest reward was the transformation I had made. Rhiannon Keith is in her final year studying Exercise Physiology at UNSW. She also works as Personal Trainer at NCIE fitness. This article was first published by NCIE, as was an earlier article Time to Shine to read click here

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Rianna Tatana Where did you grow up? I am a Bundjalung woman from the Northern Rivers area. I was born in Lismore, NSW. For part of my childhood, I grew up on a horse farm in Ellangowan, which is right next to Bungawalbin National park. You recently completed an internship with Bangarra Dance Theatre,can you share about your experience? This semester, I completed a hundred hour internship with Bangarra Dance Theatre over the course of nine weeks. During this time I gained invaluable experience that reaffirmed my passion for the Arts. Above: Rianna receiving her Kookaburra Award

I worked across the company in a variety of departments and this allowed me to understand the way the various sectors interact and overlap. This included working in marketing, administration, finance, youth programs, community engagement and also on external projects. I also sat in on rehearsals and witnessed the creation of their beautiful new production: Pateygarang; which I highly recommend everybody to go see!! What stood out for you about Bangarra’s approach and practice? What particularly impacted me was the inspiring connection that the company maintains with Indigenous youth and communities. Prior to working with Bangarra, I knew very little about this. However, what originally inspired me to apply for an Internship with Bangarra dance theatre was my interest in the way their creative process regarding the expression of traditional cultural knowledge through new forms of artistic expression. I am now aware that the relationship the company has with Indigenous communities defines and influences the productions that are presented to the world. That is to say, the creative process of an artistic work is intricately connected to the cultural protocols that need to be followed when producing an artistic work that contains both sacred and vulnerable cultural knowledge. In my opinion, these cultural protocols followed by Bangarra, distinguish the company from any other performing arts organisation and demonstrate their commitment to nurturing Indigenous culture through dance and theatre. Additionally, I spent a significant amount of time working with the Rekindling Youth Program.This was the focal point of my experience with Bangarra and demonstrates the way the company perpetually engages with and supports Indigenous youth. What have been some of the highlight of your studies at the School of the Arts and Media, UNSW? At the start of my degree in 2012, I received the Soukup Memorial Scholarship Foundation Indigenous Award for academic merit. The Donors of my scholarship agreed in principle to support me for a further 2 years. This incredible support provided me with the opportunity to undertake a short course overseas. So at the beginning of January, 2014, I flew to Seville in Spain to learn Spanish as a general education course for a month. I don’t really have the words to articulate how amazing it was. Thus far, it has been the highlight of my LIFE.

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This year I was also notified that I was named on the Arts and Social Sciences Dean’s List, in recognition of my academic performance in 2013. That was something I thought was far beyond my reach, so achieving that was an absolute honour. In addition, I was also awarded The Kookaburra Prize for the best performance in the School of the Arts and Media by an Indigenous Student in 2013. The prize has monetary value and I received it the day after my birthday - you could say I was a bit over-excited. I’m deeply grateful for these awards! My Nan was denied education at a very young age so receiving these awards at University was really emotional; I know she would be very proud of me. For people considering studying at UNSW what would you recommend about your course? There is so much flexibility when you do an Arts degree. Majoring in Theatre and Performance has enabled me to learn theory and develop my own creative work, whether it is individually or in a group, and receive first-hand experience in the Industry. For those studying Theatre and Performance, I really recommend Writing for Performance; this has been my favourite course in my Major. For English Literature, I undertook the third year course, Literary Mobilities and this was my favourite English Literature course. What’s next? After you graduate what you would like to do most? Firstly, I am planning on completing my Honours in Theatre and Performance as it will give me the opportunity of exploring my interest in Indigenous Theatre. After, I would love to do my Masters in Teaching. As an Indigenous student coming from a rural community, I am acutely aware of the damaging impact socioeconomic disadvantage has on educational, as well as the large disparity between Indigenous and non-indigenous students in terms of education. It is a very important and personal obligation for me to emphasise the importance of education and encourage children to excel within their schooling, particularly within rural Indigenous communities. So after graduation, I would like to make an impact in contributing to the social movement of achieving education equality within Australia by working within the education sector or with youth. Ideally, as a Theatre and Performance major, I would like to be making a contribution by using theatre and performance as a medium for reaching out to students. I believe it has the capacity to build confidence and self-worth, particularly in younger people. This is a starting point that allows students, who come from low socioeconomic and possibly troubled backgrounds, to realise their own potential and capability to be the best they can. I believe that this will have an impact on the way they approach their school works and achieve their goals. How would you describe your practice as an artist? This is a bit tricky to answer! I really enjoy writing scripts, directing and exploring political issues within creative spaces. But in saying that, I am still learning and discovering what interests me within the performing arts industry. There are so many career avenues for me to explore, I am not entirely certain of where I fit in just yet. However, as I stated before, teaching is definitely a career path I am confident in pursuing. What does Nura Gili mean to you? Nura Gili is my home away from home. When I think of Nura Gili, I think ‘family’. It’s the most amazing support network and the Nura Gili staff are incredible. I credit them for most of my successes at University because they offer me so much support and always help me to stay focused. Nura Gili is a beautiful environment and the people there are inspirational; they really motivate and encourage me to reach my full potential.

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The Power of Education My name is Peta MacGillivray, and I am from Rockhampton in central Queensland. My Grandmother’s ancestral lands are in north-west Queensland, around Cloncurry and Mt Isa. My Mum, Aunties, cousins and sister proudly call ourselves Kalkadoon women. I have had a long and enjoyable relationship with UNSW, and being involved in university life has given me a lot of incredible opportunities. I graduated from UNSW in 2011 with a combined Arts/Law degree. I discovered UNSW while in year 12 when I attended the Nura Gili Winter School, followed by the UNSW Indigenous Pre Program in Law. In my second year of studies at UNSW I embarked on a cadetship in the Faculty of Law as a Research Assistant, which was a fantastic learning and working experience. I worked with world-class legal scholars in the areas of intellectual property, criminal justice and human rights law, to name a few. Above: Peta after she climbed Mt Batar in Indonesia

The invaluable skills I learnt during this period set me up to begin my journey as a Research Associate in the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences. Following graduation I began working on a large research project called Indigenous Australians with Mental Health Disorders and Cognitive Impairment in the Criminal Justice System. This extraordinary work has taken me though the western parts of regional New South Wales, and Alice Springs in the Northern Territory. My research team and I have spent three years completing field-work in communities and correctional centres, to ensure that Indigenous people with cognitive impairments do no languish in prisons in the absence of social, community and health supports. We are currently publishing our findings, and hope to assist community organisations to advocate with our evidence around this issue. My personal view is that research needs to be working for Indigenous communities, and the benefits need to flow to the people who are the subject of our work. Being involved with research also gives me the opportunity to teach in both the Faculty of Law and the Faculty of Arts, a very rewarding experience. It feels good to stand up in front of students to discuss important legal and social justice issues from an Indigenous perspective. I truly believe this is beneficial for students, and the feedback I receive tells me I am right (my CATI stats are awesome). During my time undertaking field-work and gathering qualitative data, I had the privilege of meeting and working with a huge range of people: community advocates, lawyers, social workers, nurses, mental health workers, Aboriginal police liaison officers, prison officers, psychiatrists, parole officers, magistrates, and many Aboriginal men and women who are, or have been, in prison. It was an experience that was humbling, and in the aftermath awakened my need to be more intimately Celebrating our students, alumni, staff and programs across all our communities 21

involved in the system to try and make an impact. So I have since embarked on a new path to admission to practice as a solicitor, and currently completing my Practical Legal Training as a graduate lawyer at the NSW Public Defenders Chambers. While I always intended on practicing, my interests post-graduation were in research, which has been a great transition into practice. As I was someone who started university studies very young, qualitative research has allowed me to develop a solid understanding of the many nuanced policy and legal issues in the area that I am most interested in, the criminal justice system, while also working closely with community and government. I would recommend any Nura Gili student to consider an honours year, post-graduate research, or work in research to gain this experience as well. In Australia it isn’t common for lawyers to both practice and work in academia, but this is something that I hope to do. The advice I have received is that practicing as a Barrister is a good way to tie my two interests together. So I think the next stop after working as a solicitor might be the Bar (that’s the Barristers Bar, not the Uni Bar). The best advice I can give to new and current Nura Gili students is make the most of prospects being in an environment like UNSW offers. I think back to when I was a student and wish I could a have a few ‘do-overs’. On honest reflection, a big one is when I think of the times I could have given more effort to my studies and looking after my health. So as you go about your business each semester, remember why you are here and don’t short-change yourself, you are totally capable, and you deserve to do well, but only you can get you there and no one else. The most inspiring Indigenous students, teachers and peers who I have met and worked with have all said variations on the same theme – education is powerful, and once you have it no one can take it from you. Now go tape that on your mirror. by Peta MacGillivray below Peta, NAIDOC 2013

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Megan Davis Scholarship for Indigenous Students The University Diplomacy Conference is offering ONE scholarship for an Indigenous student. The annual University Diplomacy Conference will be held on the 26-27th July 2014 in the Law Faculty UNSW the weekend before Semester 2 commences. Highlights include distinguished speakers Michael Kirby and Gareth Evans and our High Level Panel on Diplomacy featuring guests from DFAT and foreign dignitaries. This year our Careers Fair will focus on the relevant organisations and departments for those interested in pursuing volunteering opportunities or a career in the field. Workshop sessions are specifically designed with our delegates in mind and aim to equip participants with a whole range of practical skills including public speaking, negotiation, leadership, research and communication that they can use in a future career, the classroom and beyond. APPLY NOW for the Megan Davis Scholarship for Indigenous Students! The scholarship is worth $85 and covers the cost of registration. To apply follow the instructions in the form, just follow the link - General registration is also open! For your opportunity to participate in our amazing conference simply fill out our registration form. Once payment ($85 AU) is received we'll confirm your place and see you in a few short weeks. Places are limited. Find us on Facebook at For further information email Leah Tome Conferences Director United Nations Society University of New South Wales W:

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ASB Community Forum 10 July 2014

Are you an Aboriginal and/ or Torres Strait Islander person interested in studying business? Would you like to find out more about the career opportunities for our students and graduates in industry, public sector and social enterprise?

Join us for our ASB Community Forum with workshops, panel discussions and networking Date:

Thursday 10 July, 2014


9.30am- 3.30pm

Venue: Australian School of Business, UNSW Australia Refreshments including lunch will be provided To register your interest please: Event Detail For more information please contact: Rebecca Harcourt Program Manager, Indigenous Business Education Australian School of Business UNSW Email: Tel: 02 9385 9746 Mobile: 047 849 2075

Kat Henaway Student Support Officer Nura Gili Indigenous Programs Unit, UNSW Email: Tel: 61 (2) 9385 1642

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Celebrating our students, alumni, staff and programs across all our communities 25

Nura Gili on the Road “I want students to walk away from us believing that they have the ability to be anything they want to be as long as they have a dream and they never give up” Leearna Williams.

Photo- Winter School 2012

Each year Nura Gili attends Indigenous and non-Indigenous careers expos and conducts our ‘Light and Fire’ presentations at schools and TAFEs as part of our Recruitment and Outreach activities. We travel throughout Sydney and across Regional NSW. The careers expos provide us with the opportunity to share information about Nura Gili and UNSW with prospective students and members of the community. Nura Gili invites schools, TAFEs, individuals and organisations to visit our Kensington campus where we conduct our presentation with you, including a tour of the UNSW campus. Visit us at Balnaves place- Home of Nura Gili and we will provide you with a great opportunity to learn firsthand more about Nura Gili’s programs, entry pathways and all about the different programs you can study with us Let us know if would like us to have a stall at or your school, TAFE, organisation or expo and if you would like to visit us here on campus Leearna Williams Nura Gili Student Recruitment Officer For more information please contact: Nura Gili on (02) 9385 3805 or email

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Make UNSW your first choice The University of New South Wales (UNSW) is one of Australia's leading research and teaching universities, with 9 outstanding faculties that offer courses in a range of different study areas, UNSW is a great choice to undertake your degree. At UNSW, we take pride in the broad range and high quality of our teaching programs. Our teaching gains strength and currency from our research activities, strong industry links and our international nature; UNSW has a strong regional and global engagement. In developing new ideas and promoting lasting knowledge we are creating an academic environment where outstanding students and scholars from around the world can be inspired to excel in their programs of study and research. Partnerships with both local and global communities allow UNSW to share knowledge, debate and research outcomes. UNSW’s public events include concert performances, open days and public forums on issues such as the environment, healthcare and global politics. With 9 outstanding faculties, over 300 study areas, located in one of the best cities in the world, over 50,000 students from every country in the world and commitment to Indigenous education and research ‘make UNSW your first choice’ Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences Arts and Social Sciences is a recognised leader in arts, social sciences and, humanities teaching and research. With leading academics and industry experts, we offer you professionally relevant degrees and internationally recognised research opportunities. Study Areas: Arts, Australian Studies, Criminology, Dance, English, Film, History, International Studies, Indigenous Studies, Journalism, Languages and Linguistics, Media, Music, Performing Arts, Philosophy, Politics and International Relations, Secondary Education, Social Science, Social Work, Sociology and Anthropology, Theatre and Performance Studies. Australian School of Business Recognised as one of the top business schools in Australia, our business degrees have been designed for the very best students, and suit a variety of career aspirations and interests. We offer you a flexible and creative teaching environment that ensures learning is cutting edge, and will connect you with some of Australia’s leading business experts to support your professional ambitions. Study Areas: Accounting, Actuarial Studies, Business Law, Economics, Finance, Human Resource Management, Information Systems, International Business, Marketing and Taxation, Faculty of Built Environment Built Environment is where the brightest students from around the world converge to study design, planning, construction, management and impacts of man-made buildings and infrastructure. We focus on the design, management and delivery of the 21st-century city and all its landscape, interiors, urban fabric and industrial design. Study Areas: Architectural Computing, Architectural Studies, Construction Management and Property, Industrial Design, Interior Architecture, Landscape Architecture, Planning

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College of Fine Arts (Paddington Campus) As Australia’s premier Art, Design and Media school, COFA will help you unleash your creative potential, develop your skills and carve a niche that will set you up for a successful life as a professional artist. Study Areas: Art, Art Education, Art History, Design, Media Arts, Fine Arts Faculty of Engineering The Faculty of Engineering at UNSW is the largest in Australia, with the widest range of undergraduate degree choices, numerous scholarships and strong links to industry. We offer you 26 undergraduate degrees as well as several dual degrees. You will have the opportunity to take part in various student-led projects such as building solar cars; designing formula-style racing cars; and competing in the international Robocup soccer league. Our graduates are professionally accredited to work in Australia and around the world, and are offered jobs in the private sector, consulting, finance, government, academia and more. Study Areas: Biomedical Engineering, Bioinformatics, Chemical Engineering, Civil and Environmental Engineering, Computer Science, Electrical Engineering and Telecommunications, Mechanical and Manufacturing Engineering, Mining Engineering, Software Engineering, Surveying and Spatial Information Systems, Photovoltaic and Renewable Energy Engineering Petroleum Engineering Faculty of Law UNSW Law School offers the highest-rated law degree in Australia. Founded over 40 years ago, we constantly strive to lead and inspire change through public engagement and outstanding research. We will enable you to apply a rigorous, socially-responsible legal education to a diversity of careers. Study Areas: Law UNSW Medicine UNSW Medicine is one of Australia’s largest and most prestigious medical schools and offer innovative and unique teaching with links to some of Australia’s leading teaching hospitals, in both urban and rural NSW. We have an enviable track record in cutting-edge medical research and provide facilities that are world class. The Bachelor of Exercise Physiology is a recent addition to the Faculty’s well-established six-year undergraduate Medicine curriculum leading to the awards of Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery (MB BS). Study Areas: Medicine, Exercise Physiology Faculty of Science The Faculty of Science offers specialist degrees such as Psychology, Optometry, and Medicinal Chemistry, as well as degrees that allow students to explore the breadth of science before selecting a major. If you have a curious mind, want to learn from world renowned researchers and need a degree that is relevant to current issues, look no further than Science at UNSW Study Areas: Anatomy, Aviation, Biology and Biotechnology, Chemistry, Earth and Environmental Sciences, Ecology, Food Science, Genetics, Geography, Marine Science, Materials Science, Mathematics and Statistics, Medical Science, Nanotechnology, Neuroscience, Optometry and Vision Science Pathology, Pharmacology, Physics, Psychology, Physiology Australian Defence Force Academy (UNSW Canberra) At the Australian Defence Force Academy (ADFA) in Canberra, UNSW offers undergraduate degrees in arts, business, engineering, science, and technology as part of training for midshipmen and officer cadets of the Australian Defence Force (ADF). Study Areas: Arts, Business, Engineering, Science

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Nura Gili - About us Nura Gili provides pathways to learning opportunities that embrace Indigenous knowledge, culture and histories. Nura Gili strives for excellence in educational services and works towards assuring participation and access to all the programs it offers. The staff and students at Nura Gili support community outreach programs to actively spread the message of the availability of tertiary studies. Staff and students also work to promote the centrality of arts, culture and heritage for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples - throughout UNSW and the wider community. The words Nura Gili are from the language of the Eora Nation, Nura meaning ‘place' and Gili meaning ‘fire/light'. Nura Gili at UNSW brings together these concepts to create the meaning ‘place of fire and light'. The theme of place remains important to the many cultures of Indigenous Australia. The University of New South Wales acknowledges and recognises the very place that we have all come together to work, share, study and learn as the traditional lands of three separate Aboriginal communities: the Bedegal ( Kensington campus), Gadigal (City and College of Fine Arts Campuses) and the Ngunnawal people (Australian Defence Force Academy in Canberra). The site of UNSW is located near an 8000 year old campsite around which the people of the area taught culture, history and subsistence. From an age old past through to the present the site holds significance as a place for gathering, meeting, teaching and sharing. The concept of a fireplace and fire in general reflects the warm, relaxed and nurturing environment created by age-old fires many years ago, and recreated today by the staff and students of Nura Gili. The shared inspiration , drive and purpose for the staff and students of Nura Gili is that they belong to a community on campus where there is a fire burning, where people come together to share, as has been done for thousands of years. Nura Gili values the potential that education can offer, and with the theme of the fireplace in mind, we invite Indigenous and non-Indigenous people to gather, learn and share together, to light a torch of their own, to guide them, and light their way as they create their own journey.

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Nura Gili News Edition 13 June 2014  

As our cover highlights the last fortnight has seen many Nura Gili students with their families and friends celebrate their UNSW Graduations...

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