Page 1

Celebrating our students, alumni, staff and programs across all our communities 1


Editorial UNSW Indigenous Awards Night and Nura Gili’s 10th Year Anniversary Indigenous Culture is Here and Now at UNSW Youth Off the Streets Scholarship Winner NASCA Armtour National Indigenous Tertiary Education Student Games Walama Muru ASPIRE UNSW Business School Nura Gili Strength Cards Nura Gili on the Road Nura Gili About Us

3 4 16 18 19 20 22 23 25 26 27

Nura Gili News www.nuragili.unsw.edu.au/nura-gili-news If you would like to contribute ideas, news, letters and / or articles please contact the editor: E: rebecca.harcourt@unsw.edu.au 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.n.m.nakata@unsw.edu.au - 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: nuragili@unsw.edu.au Website: nuragili.unsw.edu.au

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

Celebrating our students, alumni, staff and programs across all our communities 2


As you read this our Indigenous students are sitting their end of year exams here at UNSW whilst many other Indigenous year 12 students have just completed their HSC and other state’s equivalent exams. In a fortnight we will be welcoming many Indigenous students who have been successful in their application to attend the UNSW Indigenous Pre Programs in Business, Education, Law, Medicine and Social Work. Equally during the next few weeks Indigenous students who have applied to study at UNSW in other areas will be coming to Nura Gili for their interviews with Nura Gili and Faculty staff as part of the UNSW Indigenous Admissions Scheme. Whichever pathway you choose– Nura Gili is a great foundation to support you to navigate your studies and achieve across many fields as was celebrated recently at UNSW Indigenous Awards Night and Nura Gili’s 10th Year Anniversary. Enjoy our November issue! Rebecca Harcourt

Celebrating our students, alumni, staff and programs across all our communities 3


Left to right:

Professor Mark Uncles, Deputy Dean UNSW Business School Leanne Howard - UNSW Business School Post Graduate Excellence Award Makenzie Russell - UNSW Business School Spirit Award Owen Walsh - UNSW Business School Excellence Award Benjamin Eisikovich - Indigenous Accountants Rock Award Rebecca Harcourt, Program Manager Indigenous Business Education Adrian Williams , AMP Property & founder Indigenous Accountants Rock

Left to right:

Jacob Hyland, UNSW Engineering Indigenous Alumni Scott Parlett - The UNSW Art & Design Post Graduate Spirit Award Edward Hyland - The Faculty of Engineering Spirit Award Celebrating our students, alumni, staff and programs across all our communities 4


Left to right:

Jessica Thompson - John Holland Group Spirit Award Sharon Gray – John Holland Group

Left to right:

Teela Reid - Faculty of Law Spirit Award Jeni Engel - Senior Lecturer, Director of Indigenous Legal Education, UNSW Law Corey Smith - Faculty of Law Excellence Award Aaron Lowth - Faculty of Law Excellence Award

Celebrating our students, alumni, staff and programs across all our communities 5


Left to right:

Mitch Sutton - UNSW Medicine Excellence Award Jessica Wade - UNSW Medicine Spirit Award Professor Peter Lovibond, Deputy Dean of Science Jessica Clark - UNSW Science Spirit Award Jackson Blythe - UNSW Science Excellence Award

Left to right:

Mitch Sutton - UNSW Medicine Excellence Award Jason Sines - Shalom Gamarada Award for contribution to Shalom College Gerome Te Peeti, Shalom Gamarada Scholarship Coordinator Jessica Clark - UNSW Science Spirit Award

Celebrating our students, alumni, staff and programs across all our communities 6


Left to right:

Nellie Pollard-Wharton - Faculty of Arts & Social Sciences Spirit Award Associate Professor Cath Ellis - Associate Dean (Education) Bodhan-Balla Gow - Faculty of Arts & Social Sciences Postgraduate Excellence Award Jessica Russ-Smith - Faculty of Arts & Social Sciences Excellence Award

Left to right:

Michael Stonham - UNSW Built Environment Spirit Award Prof Oya Demirbilek - Senior Lecturer, Program Head, School of Architecture and Design Kate Wallace - UNSW Built Environment Excellence Award

Celebrating our students, alumni, staff and programs across all our communities 7


Left to right:

Back Row: Scott Parlett - UNSW Art & Design Post Graduate Spirit Award Dennis Golding Kerry Toomey Dr.Kim Snepvangers Head of School Art & Design John Waight - UNSW Art & Design Spirit Award Amala Groom Dr Scott East – Director, Student Experience, School of Art & Design Jordan Ardler Tess Allas - Director, Indigenous Programs, School of Art & Design Front Row: Gemma Evans Lowanna Moran Kel Henderson Associate Dean of School of Art & Design Graham Forsyth Our other Award Winners: Brooke Cook-Gowans - The Faculty of Arts & Social Sciences Excellence Award Jesse Ingrey-Arndell - The UNSW Art & Design Excellence Award Kyle Simpson - Faculty of Engineering Excellence Award Teeyanna Tapim-Savage - The Shalom Gamarada Award for contribution to Shalom College Kylie Brennan -The UNSW Art & Design Post Graduate Excellence Award

Celebrating our students, alumni, staff and programs across all our communities 8


We were honoured to be joined by Sandy Hollway, Chairman ITNewcom Foundation and moved by his insights and many contributions as shared here in his speech:

“Well, what a wonderful occasion this is. First of all, I congratulate all the worthy winners of awards, and Nura Gili on its 10th anniversary. It is a privilege to be here with you. I also pay tribute to everybody from UNSW and the industry partners here tonight who support Indigenous students in higher education. The Foundation which I chair is dedicated to helping young Indigenous Australians make a successful transition from school to university and into the mainstream of Australian life. In particular, our vision is an increasing number of Indigenous Australians coming through the system to succeed in business and the professions -- finance, commerce, law, engineering and so on. We think that the prominence of successful Indigenous Australians in these engine rooms of the economy will have a major impact on the position of indigenous people generally in Australia. The Foundation was established by the company ITNewcom which, over 20 years, has grown into a successful, smart Australian company in the technology sector.

Celebrating our students, alumni, staff and programs across all our communities 9


Left to Right

Professor Iain Martin Vice-President and Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academic) ; Simon Balderstone AM; Petra Franks; Sandy Hollway; Brendan and Cathy Walsh; Professor Martin Nakata B.Ed Hons PhD Director of Nura Gili Indigenous Programs Unit

With the coming of success the founder of ITNewcom, Brendan Welsh and his wife Cathy, and their business partners were keen to give something back, and so the Foundation was formed in 2011. Our Board members who also include Martin Nakata and Simon Balderstone are here tonight. The overriding aim of our scholarships is to free students from financial pressures so that they can concentrate on adapting to university life and succeeding academically. Our philosophy is that one size does not fit all. People need different kinds of assistance and we try to tailor our support to the needs of the individual. We are blessed with magnificent partners, including UNSW and its colleges. We also enjoy an excellent partnership with Yalari which has done such good work in i Indigenous education. We are sustained by the commitment and financial support provided by major IT companies such as Telstra, Cap Gemini, Wipro, HCL Technologies and Tech Mahindra. We are not a huge Foundation, but we are on the move, we are growing, and we are supporting four fantastic students at the moment in three universities, including Patrick Goulding and Tamika Jarvis here at UNSW. We want to demonstrate that if everybody in Australia who can help does their bit then we can, together, get our society to a much better place. Celebrating our students, alumni, staff and programs across all our communities 10


Let me very briefly tell you of my journey. 

I am not an Indigenous Australian, but I have had my eyes opened.

As a Public Servant in Canberra in the 1990s, I had responsibility for the Royal Commission into Aboriginal Deaths in Custody, and you might say this opened my eyes to the depth and breadth of Indigenous disadvantage in Australia.

I was then charged with developing the government’s response to the High Court’s historic Mabo decision, and you might say that this opened my eyes to our capacity, albeit not perfect, to try to right past wrongs.

Later I worked to ensure that Indigenous Australia was fully, actively and creatively engaged in the Sydney 2000 Olympic Games.

And through all of this, I have been blessed to be educated by wonderful people like Charles Perkins, Lowitja O'Donoghue and Patrick Dodson, and Martin Nakata continues my education today.

My journey has led me to believe that continuing Indigenous disadvantage is the single most important unresolved issue in Australia. It is not just a practical issue, but a moral issue. It goes to the heart of what we are as a country. We will never be a fully healthy country until such disadvantage is overcome -- but more than that, until the full range of opportunity available in Australia is open to every Indigenous Australian as it is to every non-indigenous Australian. And my own experience at University has also left me with a good understanding that although university can bring about wonderful opportunities, the everyday experience -- especially at the beginning -- can be disconcerting, uncomfortable, tough... I say to every student here tonight, if you feel this you are not different. University takes some figuring out. It takes some getting used to. So don't be shy about reaching out for support. You don't have to face the challenges on your own. The University is with you, your college is with you, and Nura Gili is surely amongst the best institutions of its kind in its commitment to high standards combined with friendly, practical support. Visit them. Ask them. If you have commitment to conclude your studies and if you tap into the available support when you need it -- in short, if everybody works together -- success will come. Finally, I want to say this to the students here tonight: When people in Australia look back in 5, 10, 20 years, I believe they will say that you were pioneers and leaders. Why? Because your success at University, in increasing numbers, can build up to a tipping point where Indigenous achievement in higher education and the professions becomes what it should be, a normal feature of the way Australia works. In contributing to that, every one of you students here tonight -- and every one of the Indigenous students who is not with us tonight or who is hard at work in another university somewhere in the country -- is doing Indigenous people proud and doing Australia proud. Thank you very much for having me.”

Celebrating our students, alumni, staff and programs across all our communities 11


This is an extract from the closing speech on Awards night given by Dr Reuben Bolt BHS(Hons) MA, PhD and Deputy Director of Nura Gili Indigenous Programs Unit, UNSW Australia.

“Tonight we celebrate a significant achievement by our Indigenous students; an achievement acknowledged by the various awards presented this evening. These awards are an acknowledgement of the persistence and dedication of our Indigenous students to completing their studies. The other reason we are here is to celebrate the ten year anniversary of Nura Gili, and the important contribution Nura Gili has made to Indigenous education at UNSW, Australia. Nura Gili was established in 2004 as the result of an amalgamation of the Aboriginal Research and Resource Centre and the Aboriginal Education Program in 2004. In 1983 there were 22 Indigenous enrolments at UNSW. Today there are more than 400 Indigenous enrolments. We have significant enrolments in Medicine-the highest in the country. We also have a high number of Indigenous enrolments in Law, and Arts and Social Sciences, and we are on a mission to growing our enrolment numbers across the other faculties. To do this we have adopted a vision of becoming the leading Indigenous Unit or Centre in the country for Indigenous student support services and Indigenous studies programs. To achieve this vision we have developed a clear commitment to supporting Indigenous students in their academic success. We are now in a very good position to deliver on this. Thanks to the Balnaves foundation, we have a first class facility in our new home located at the centre of campus, and now have the infrastructure to build our student numbers. This includes honours students, as we will be delivering for the first time an Indigenous Studies honours program next semester. When we graduate our honours students, our potential pool of PhD students in Indigenous Studies grows. If we can fill our PhD pods, of which we have nine we will continue to develop our specialist Indigenous Studies research capacity; this will mean that we will have 9 PhDs and 7 academic staff researching Indigenous content. That is, potentially, 16 academics in one building doing research on Indigenous content, and making a contribution to the disciplines - developing new knowledge. Celebrating our students, alumni, staff and programs across all our communities 12


So for me, Nura Gili not only makes a contribution to Indigenous education at UNSW, but it has a vital role in contributing to the broader agenda of closing the gap between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians. This could not be done without the support of our donors and the University, nor without the support from our staff, and the crucial contribution of the Faculties in the delivery of our programs. We truly are indebted to you. We would like to acknowledge the many sponsors who have made generous contributions and who are here with us tonight. Hamish Balnaves - Balnaves Foundation Brendan and Cathy Walsh, Sandy Hollway and Simon Baulderstone -ITNewCom Foundation Emeritus Professor Richard Henry Graham and Joan Russell; Adrian Williams; Sharon Gray- John Holland Group Gerome De Peeti -Shalom College and so many of our colleagues across UNSW Tonight is really about recognising the role and contribution of our Indigenous Students - because their success is our success. Well done to our award recipients. Your award is an acknowledgement of persistence with your studies. It is a very exciting time for Nura Gili and UNSW, as we look forward to a new wave of graduating lawyers, doctors, academics, accountants, scientists, artists and more, who will be better placed to make a contribution to their chosen field or profession. While indeed we have come a long way in 10 short years, I believe it is the next ten that will allow us to build our capacity so we can make a more significant contribution. Thank you to everyone for helping us celebrates our 10 year anniversary and share in the success of our Indigenous students.� Across UNSW, we currently have 21 Indigenous academics and 16 Indigenous research students undertaking their PhDs and Masters by Research.

Celebrating our students, alumni, staff and programs across all our communities 13


left Ann’ son Jackson Blythe

“I would just like to express my gratitude to the Awards Night organisers for an exceptional evening. Every detail was inspired and awesome. We were greeted in the foyer by two beautiful individuals who made us feel most welcome, awestruck by the amazing venue, the staff met our every need, the food was divine, the atmosphere was warm and friendly, the entertainment was outstanding and the awards ceremony was humbling. My son, Jackson Blythe, received an award on the night and we: myself, my husband and Jackson's girlfriend, Sharru, were all so proud and thrilled for him.

I cannot thank you enough for the wonderful experience. Please pass on my gratitude and congratulations to your organisers and volunteers. The night exceeded all expectations. I would also like to express my appreciation of the fantastic job that Nura Gili is doing for our Indigenous students. It is obvious that the support and compassion that is shown to the students is most certainly paying off. It is wonderful to see so many young people with so much to offer being given the support they so greatly deserve. We are certainly most grateful for the recognition of Jackson's achievements as we can see that this boosts his confidence and drives him to continue to do well. Again, thank you for a magical evening and thank you doubly for the vital service you are providing.” Ann Blythe

To see more photos from the night check out Nura Gili’s Facebook Page.

Left Petra and Rhyan Clapham welcome and interview guests with UNSW TV

Celebrating our students, alumni, staff and programs across all our communities 14


Nura Gili Student Ambassadors Petra Franks and Rianna Tatana with Nura Gili’s Event Coordinator Kat Henaway

“It was such a beautiful night! Massive thanks to everyone who contributed to the organisation of the event especially the lovely Kat Henaway (above centre)! You couldn’t move around the ballroom without people expressing their love for Nura Gili and the family they have made for us!” Petra Franks SPECIAL THANKS TO our emcee on Awards night for second year running Luke Carroll

Left to right: Rhianna with emcee Luke Carroll , Petra and Nura Gili’s Justin Hodges

Celebrating our students, alumni, staff and programs across all our communities 15


Text and photography by Bronte Sevil Here on Kensington campus, we are surrounded by many hidden histories, native flora, nearby rock engravings, as well as Nura Gili; the Indigenous programs unit. Because UNSW is home to over 50,000 students from more than 120 different countries, learning about Indigenous culture is important for fostering an understanding between Indigenous and non-Indigenous peoples. Despite Sydney’s urban presence, the city is home to a rich Indigenous culture. Ben Kelly, Nura Gili academic and lecturer at UNSW, offers his thoughts on Sydney as an Aboriginal place. “The city in which we live has a cultural heritage that stretches back for tens of thousands of years – through ice ages when the shoreline was several kilometres out and the harbour wasn’t there, right up to today where it is a site of Indigenous engagement with global intellectual, artistic and political movements. Being able to appreciate the Aboriginal dimension of our city makes it a more interesting place to be.” The Aboriginal dimension of Kensington campus began long ago, but we can only discern Indigenous peoples’ way of life since the last Ice Age (around 6,000 years ago). It is likely that up until the mid-nineteenth century Indigenous peoples continued to use the land we now study on, the Bedegal people’s land of the Eora nation (also referred to as Darug). This region was characterised by a complex wetland-sandhill system and was a key resource area for Indigenous peoples. Native flora and fauna was and still is used for food, tools and medicinal purposes and can be found at UNSW today. 25 different types of native flora grow on Kensington campus. The Burrawang, found next to Sir John Clancy Auditorium, was traditionally used to make cakes from the pulp of its seeds. The Native Mint can be found on lower campus and was used to cure colds and headaches by crushing the leaves and placing them on the temple, or by infusing them in hot water as an inhalant. Nearby is the Prickly Paperback, impressively used for roofing, blankets, canoes, baby slings and rafts to name a few. The downloadable app ‘UNSW Green Trail’ provides maps and interactive audio describing the native flora on our campus – it’s a great way to gain knowledge of Indigenous plants around UNSW. Aboriginal rock engravings also form an important part of Indigenous culture and are not far from Kensington campus. Most engravings in Sydney today have been done by the Eora, Darug and Darkinjung peoples, but some have controversially been re-grooved by local councils. Just three kilometres from Kensington campus, Aboriginal rock engravings can be found along the coastline from around 5,000 years ago. Celebrating our students, alumni, staff and programs across all our communities 16


A shark engraving can be seen on the East Tamarama to Bondi coastal walk, and further along at the Bondi golf course, there are many engravings of marine life, men and creation ancestors. These engravings were and still are of great importance to Indigenous peoples, as they hold knowledge of Dreamtime stories and instructions on seasonal use of resources. Nura Gili takes these histories and maintains the livelihood of Aboriginal Sydney. Its name, which means “place of light/fire” was inspired by an Aboriginal campsite found nearby at the Prince of Wales hospital that was buried 8,000 years ago. Ben Kelly explains how Nura Gili embodies Indigenous culture today: “Culture consists of the shared learned beliefs, practices, and styles of expression and interaction of any identifiable group, so besides the ‘cultural’ events that we hold throughout the year, it is expressed every day in the behaviour of our Indigenous students and staff. I think the most important way that we maintain the livelihood of Indigenous culture is by providing a space for its everyday expression.” Tyrone Kelly, an Indigenous student at UNSW agrees: “It really is exceptional to see that even after tens of thousands of years, Indigenous traditions are still being embodied by Nura Gili.” Exploring the Aboriginal dimension of Kensington campus allows us to gain a greater understanding of Aboriginal Sydney today. Ben Kelly believes that “there is a widespread tendency for nonIndigenous people to imagine that ‘authentic’ Indigenous people only exist in the past in a way that we don’t do with English or Greek or Chinese or any other non-Indigenous identity”. Fortunately, though, he believes this attitude wears away with the help of relevant courses such as ATSI1012: Aboriginal Sydney. “Our Indigenous Studies major and minor are available to students studying in most degrees at UNSW and are tailored to allow students to reflect on the intersection of the other disciplines they study and Indigenous people. This is especially useful for those students whose professional life after university might involve working with Indigenous people or organisations. Most of our individual courses are also open to study as general education electives.” Learning about native flora, rock engravings and Nura Gili allows UNSW to be seen in a new light. When we sit in the seats of our lecture rooms, we should remember that this is Bedegal land and that Indigenous culture forms an important part of our campus today. Bronte is currently studying International Studies and Media at UNSW. This article was originally published in Tharunka’s inaugural Indigenous & Intercultural issue including editorial by Rebekah Hatfield and articles by many of Nura Gili UNSW Indigenous students. Tharanuka is published by Arc @ UNSW- to read more visit www.tharunka.arc.unsw.edu.au"

Celebrating our students, alumni, staff and programs across all our communities 17


Congratulations to Danielle Hobday, an inspirational Indigenous law student in her 4th year, who has recently been awarded a prestigious Youth Off The Streets scholarship. Danielle was among 21 scholarship recipients, out of a field of 214 applicants. The National Scholarship Program supports talented young people from all over Australia to reach their educational goals. Father Chris Riley developed the National Scholarship Program ten years ago so that young Australians who exhibit extraordinary promise but who need additional resources and assistance to develop personal support networks can fulfil their potential. In addition to the scholarship that will help Danielle to complete her studies in Law and Criminology & Criminal Justice, Danielle receives on-going support and guidance from Youth Off The Streets staff, as well as a community mentor. Damian Cooley of Cooley Auctions, Double Bay, who is a long-time supporter and generous benefactor of Father Chris Riley’s Youth Off The Streets, has sponsored Danielle’s scholarship and they met at the recent presentation ceremony. What does receiving this scholarship mean to Danielle? She says: “I feel so empowered to be receiving this scholarship as it makes me aware that people believe in me and my ability to succeed. This scholarship will support me and my family to the completion of my degree which means I can focus on my studies without the stress of financial burdens, while pairing me with a mentor who will guide and maintain stability in my life.” Ever since starting at UNSW Law in 2010, Danielle has made the most of every opportunity that has come her way to improve her legal skills and knowledge, including participating in the inaugural First Nations Mooting Competition in August. She is also extensively involved in Nura Gili’s activities, and this year she has been a Winter School supervisor and the Culture/Welfare Officer in the UNSW Indigenous Society. For several years, Danielle has had a cadetship with the Australian Federal Police and she is also intending to work with the Australian Government Solicitor from next year. On top of all these commitments, Danielle and her partner Jonathon Captain-Webb, also an Indigenous law student at UNSW, have an 11-month old son, Tjandamurra.

Celebrating our students, alumni, staff and programs across all our communities 18


“ARMtour engages athletes and career role models to deliver sport and recreation activities that encourage educational engagement for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students living in remote Northern Territory communities”. www.nasca.com.au/

Danielle Hobday recently went away with NASCA’s ArmTour team and below she shares her reflections about the experience: “I went to Yuelamu which is nearly 300km North-West of Alice Springs. Most of the time there we spent with the kids- helping them learn, encouraging them and playing a lot of sport including teaching them how to live a healthy life style. Reflecting on my trip, I feel so lucky to have been welcomed in with open arms to the community. Every person I met had such a kind heart and was so lovely. The kids were the happiest, carefree children I have ever met and it just made me realise how simple life really is and how we don’t need to be so caught up in technology and our commercialised community. I don’t think any person, Indigenous and non-Indigenous can truly advocate for Indigenous peoples within the Northern Territory until they experience how diverse the culture and lifestyle is there. I feel blessed to have been able to learn so much in such a short time. It really opened my eyes to issues remote communities in the Northern Territory are facing and this has given me a solid platform to work from. I look forward to going back to the community next year where I hope the relationships I have formed can grow and I can inspire some of the youth who have so much potential.”

Celebrating our students, alumni, staff and programs across all our communities 19


Week nine of the UNSW calendar saw 14 Indigenous students, and two staff, fly to Perth to compete in a range of sports, and battle to win the National Indigenous Tertiary Education Student Games. Unfortunately, UNSW’s Nura Gili teams came home empty handed but not without many new friends and networks from all over the country. The University of Western Australia (UWA) played host to the 19th annual games and showed fantastic organisational skills in not only the fixtures but the social events as well. UWA planned a tradition game for Sunday which ended up being rained out; although that didn’t stop the Aboriginal dancers from performing their welcoming dance in the cold weather. Nura Gili 1’s played three games of touch followed by one of volleyball on Monday before two more volleyball games on Tuesday. Nura Gili 2’s played the opposite and although not many knew how to play either sports both teams tried their hardest. The grand final for volleyball was between the hosts, University of Western Australia, and the University of Melbourne. Melbourne’s talent was impeccable, winning them the first grand final of the games. The touch grand final was between the University of Sydney and the University of Western Sydney (UWS). UWS came out winners with a nail biting 5 – 3 finish. Monday night was the ‘Retro Party’ and although some universities made no attempt, UNSW felt the need to get in touch with their inner Cyndi Lauper, Olivia Newton-John and Madonna. Most the outfits were amazing although one pair went as Mario and Luigi. When asked how they were retro their response was that Mario and Luigi were created during the retro period. Although most of us didn’t agree with this logic, it was nice that they put in some effort to dress up.

Celebrating our students, alumni, staff and programs across all our communities 20


Tuesday night’s theme was ‘Dress to Impress’ and did Australia’s Indigenous tertiary students impress!? The girls were in their finest frocks and the men pulled out their suits and ties turning heads everywhere we walked. Even though there was no set dance floor, we made one. Tables and chairs were moved to cater to the need to get down on the D-floor. Wednesday and Thursday were when UNSW showed their colours. Playing three games of netball and one of basketball on Wednesday, followed by two more games of basketball on Thursday, Nura Gili 2’s made the final for netball only to be beaten by UWA. Nura Gili 2’s played three basketball games on Wednesday where they dominated followed by three netball games. Unfortunately they didn’t make it to the finals but their teamwork, three point shots and centres passes were on point. Netballs grand final was between the two UWA team’s where the winner was UWA 2’s; and the basketball grand final was between UWS and Southern Cross University (SCU) where SCU took out the championship. Wednesday night was a free night so UNSW decided to have a team dinner. Chinese was on everybody’s mind and a 20 minute walk later we were seated. The food was standard but we had a debrief on how we thought the games were going and considering it was the first games for majority of the players, we went around the circle saying our favourite thing so far. Although it was late in the week, it was still a valuable team bonding exercise to learn how to make each other feel more at home and comfortable around new people and in a new environment. Thursday night was presentation night and UNSW was excited. The theme was ‘Black & Deadly’ and Nura Gili pulled out all the stops to dress as deadly as possible. Once again the frocks were flowing and the boys were scrubbed up but this time it was a bit more casual. There was no shortage of chinos, jeans, tank tops, and the odd girl or two in flats, but the night was amazing. The awards were announced as photos from throughout the week were played in the background. Overall, UWA came first and third and Melbourne University came in second place, although none of that mattered because the National Indigenous Tertiary Education Student Games will be held in Newcastle next year for its 20th anniversary. By Grant Maling

Nura Gili Teams 1 & 2 would like to give a massive thank you to Nura Gili and all the sponsors above who helped UNSW get to Perth for the 2014 Games and have a place to stay. Celebrating our students, alumni, staff and programs across all our communities 21


By Petra Franks This was my first year involved in the Walama Muru Volunteering Program run in partnership with Arc and Nura Gili. Without a doubt, it was one of my best experiences I’ve had so far in my two years at university. The year began with fundraising, with chocolate boxes selling like crazy in our 9am classes, baking endless treats for bake sales and a successful trivia night at the Roundhouse! The program ended with an impromptu outdoors dance party in Uncle Ralph’s backyard after a week of hard work. This year Walama Muru returned to the beautiful rural town of Gilgandra with a population of 2700. Gilgandra is situated amongst three Aboriginal nations: Gamilaraay to the northeast, Wiradjuri to the south and Wayilwan to the west. The projects we set out to do over the week were selected by the community in discussion with Mick and Cheryl, who are of course are Wiradjuri themselves. These included sanding and re-painting the local basketball court and building and planting seating in ‘The Pines’. At Uncle Ralph’s, who uses his property to work with local kids and teach them about respect, we built seats and a big wide screen for a backdrop of his stage where he performs traditional dances with his family. We left it plain and we can’t wait to see the mural that they will design and paint! At the local Barnados pre-school we built a Veggie Patch, complete with cute sign and plenty of seedlings and a shade over the sand pit that the volunteers built last year. Each of these projects we completed came with a whole new set of skills, experiences and a new group within the community to get to know! At the basketball courts it was pretty common to see volunteers and kids shooting hoops together and at Uncle Ralphs you can’t leave without him and his family making the most delicious fried scones for you! It’s really rewarding seeing the amazing things going on in a community hours from the dense congestion and urban landscape of Sydney: ranging from the hospitality of the family running the local caravan park where we stayed to the wonderful work of the Barnados staff. It makes you feel good if you can contribute anything at all, and to let them know that their work is noticed. Knowing that families can now enjoy fresh veggies from the garden, and how chuffed the local aspiring athletes will be with a professional court to practice on makes all the heavy-lifting, blisters and early starts worth it! One of the most beautiful things about Walama is the people, the volunteers in particular. The program brings Indigenous and non-Indigenous students, from all different backgrounds and degrees together into the same mini-bus, all wearing the same green t-shirt. Our coordinator this year, Denise Goldman was a constant inspiration and one of our own Nura Gili student’s Quinton Vea Vea, won the Arc Outstanding Volunteer Award for his endless contribution to the fundraising and projects. It was certainly a very rewarding experience and I have come away with new friends, a new love for a faraway town and decent knowledge of cement mixing.

Celebrating our students, alumni, staff and programs across all our communities 22


From 30th September to the 2nd October, Vanessa Cali, Rebekah Torrens, Ali Davies and ASPIRE Ambassador and UNSW Art and Design student, Caoife Power, travelled to Condobolin to run activities for young people and their parents and carers during the school holidays. ASPIRE attended at the request of our community partners, the Western Plains Regional Development Inc and Central West Family Support, to deepen the relationship with the community, where ASPIRE already has a presence through in-school workshops and supporting the ASPIRE Homework Centre. On the Wednesday the ASPIRE activities were held alongside the Sports Carnival and BBQ at the Family Support Centre. It was an amazing day! Families, young people and community members started packing in at the centre very early. Caoife ran an art activity with a sporting theme, with children designing their own medal of who they are now and what they want to be in the future. The activity was really successful - a lot of the kids with their parents and grandparents came back to make two or three medals! Rebekah and Ali assisted parents and carers creating a “My Life Story” board. The activity was a big hit! ASPIRE provided the technology for the parents to use to take photos of their families and life in Condobolin. After taking their photos they printed them out and framed them onto their storyboard. There were a lot of creative and amazing stories ready to be hung on the walls at home. The Aboriginal Out Of Home Care Worker, who wants to encourage families to document their lives visually, help shaped the activity. On the Thursday, Vanessa and Rebekah were invited to attend the water sport day held at Gum Bend Lake, to support the organisations’ holiday activities and we provided some games and drawings for the children under 10. The day gave ASPIRE an opportunity to interact informally with the community and get to know the parents and carers who will be visiting to Sydney and UNSW in November, hosted by ASPIRE. It was an amazing two days for all the ASPIRE team.

Celebrating our students, alumni, staff and programs across all our communities 23


Year 9 regional students in ASPIRE partner schools from Binnaway, Baradine, Dunedoo, Coolah, Coonamble, Coonabarabran, Condobolin, Mendooran, Gulargambone, Walgett, Lightning Ridge, Quandialla, Ungarie, Tullibigeal, Lake Cargelligo recently participated in UNSW ASPIRE Year 9 We’re Doing Fine program. The event gave students the opportunity to learn more about subjects and careers they may have an interest in and gain a greater awareness of the courses available to study that would enable them to follow a career path in the things they already love to do. This year’s workshops included Indigenous studies, business, engineering, medicine, performing arts and chemistry.

It was great to be back on Wiradjuri country, facilitating workshops with so many inspiring young Indigenous and non- Indigenous students and their teachers and staff. Rebecca Harcourt

Celebrating our students, alumni, staff and programs across all our communities 24


I was first introduced to the use of strength cards in the summer of 2004 when I was an ICV Volunteer living in Pormpuraaw, West Cape York in Queensland and working with PPAC Pormpur Paanth Aboriginal Corporation under the then Director Heather Saleh. During one of our professional development days Heather facilitated a session with strength cards where each card with a word and a picture was used as a tool for people to yarn (talk) about their own strengths, qualities, experiences and future aspirations. I was impressed with how the cards opened up a depth of professional intimacy and connectivity amongst us all and imbued a sense of confidence. When I was commissioned to create the Global Business Leaders Challenge in 2011 it occurred to me that creating a set of strength cards so participants can investigate how their personal strengths can be applied and developed in a business context could be of value. Together with a team of students and colleagues we created the basis of these cards and incorporated further questions and ideas to prompt and tease out people’s thinking, conversations and aspirations. Since then, I have used our strength cards with many different audiences in workshops, forums, and presentations. The beauty of these cards is you can tease out any number of outcomes, drawing on contributions from every one of your participants. I’ve found them to be a great differentiation tool working equally well with specific and mixed audiences. Every session brings out something new and unexpected; the beauty of group experiential learning. I’m thrilled to share that our Strength cards are now available for sale at our UNSW Bookshop and via their website for online purchases. All sale proceeds will go directly towards a fund for UNSW Indigenous scholarships for Indigenous students studying at UNSW Business School. To purchase and for further details: https://www.bookshop.unsw.edu.au/details.cgi?ITEMNO=9990000191277 We also recently launched our latest UNSW Indigenous Guide for Business Students, please let me know if you would also like to receive hard copies of the guide to share in your organisation. http://issuu.com/nura_gili/docs/unsw_business_guide_for_indigenous_ Rebecca Harcourt Celebrating our students, alumni, staff and programs across all our communities 25


“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.

Winter School -Built Environment 2014

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 asknuragili@unsw.edu.au Celebrating our students, alumni, staff and programs across all our communities 26


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.

Celebrating our students, alumni, staff and programs across all our communities 27

Nura Gili News Edition 16 November 2014  

Nura Gili News Edition 16 November 2014

Read more
Read more
Similar to
Popular now
Just for you