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1. Editorial


2. Celebrating our Future Indigenous Doctors


3. Nura Gili Interns at DSS


4. 2015 UNSW Indigenous Winter School  Art & Design  Built Environment: Architecture, Construction and Design  Business  Education  Law  Medicine  Performing Arts  Science  Formal Dinner  Graduation i. Gift of Knowledge ii. My brother, my sister, this is my mob, this is your mob, this is our mob, we are family iii. Awards


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Year 12 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Information Day News from the Indigenous Astronomy Team Student Information Session: 2016 NSW Government Graduate Program Our Future Diabetes Community Forum Save the Date: 2015 UNSW Indigenous Awards Night About Us  About UNSW  About Nura Gili  About Balnaves Place –Home of Nura Gili


Our special Winter School issue highlights many of the great contributions by our Nura Gili students, Nura Gili and Faculty staff, to provide a transformational week with the many Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Winter School participants currently in years 10, 11 and 12. As can be seen in this video, produced by UNSW Medicine where with testimonies from participants from the Medicine Program at Winter School. If you’re in year 12 and live in Sydney there’s another great opportunity to come and spend the day with here with us to discover more about what Nura Gili and UNSW offer: click on image to register. And if you are considering studying Business, Education, Law, Medicine or Social Work at UNSW applications are now open for our UNSW Indigenous Pre- programs 25 November to 17 December 2015 – more here

Last week I also had the opportunity to run a leadership workshop at the inaugural Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Student Conference with student representatives from many universities across Australia. The three-day conference was instigated by Nura Gili’s Bridget Cama who is the National Union of Students ATSI Officer and studying Arts/Law here at UNSW. Congratulations to Bridget and all involved for providing a robust and engaging gathering full of compelling dialogue and debate. For our current students who are thinking about the opportunities post-graduation the Public Service Commission will be holding a special Student Information Session at Nura Gili on Monday 10 August from 12.30pm-1.30pm with Jo Grisard, Deputy Commissioner of the NSW Public Service Commission and the Aboriginal Workforce Development Team for more details see page 42. Well-being is something many us struggle with as a result of living with Diabetes, either personally, family members, friends and others in our communities. On Wednesday th 12 August Nura Gili is hosting an evening Diabetes Community Forum and hope you’ll be able to join us –more details and to register see page 44. Enjoy this month’s issue and keep connected. Rebecca Harcourt Editor Connect with Nura Gili



As the nation celebrated NAIDOC Week, UNSW Medicine reflected on the success of its Indigenous graduates and students. Recently the Faculty’s Balnaves scholars Indigenous students studying medicine with the support of the Balnaves Foundation - met for an evening of knowledge sharing and support. Hosted at Balnaves Place, the home of Nura Gili, the students were joined by representatives of the Balnaves Foundation including founder Dr Neil Balnaves AO, former UNSW Medicine Dean Professor Peter Smith, Elder in Residence Aunty Ali Golding, Professor Lisa Jackson-Pulver AM and leaders from the Nura Gili Indigenous Program Unit. Nura Gili was a fitting setting for the event according to Director of the Nura Gili Indigenous Program Professor Martin Nakata, also in attendance, as it has been vital to the success and wellbeing of the Balnaves scholars. “The faculty is providing Indigenous students with the best quality medical degrees in the country. Support provided by the Nura Gili Indigenous Programs Unit, the Residential Colleges, like Shalom, and key scholarship providers, like the Balnaves Foundation, play an important role in not just their participation in degree programs but the high level of completions” he said. Testament to such support is the success of Dr Andrew Julian, the first Balnaves Scholar to graduate as a doctor in 2013. Andrew attended the Nura Gilli Pre Medicine Program and was accepted into Medicine the following year. Since graduating Andrew has been working in St George and Sutherland hospitals and in Griffith in the emergency department. He was happy to share some words of wisdom for the current Balnaves scholars. “Keep working hard. Uni is only a few short years and then the real fun starts. The scholars are in a very lucky position to set themselves and their families up as great role models and to make a real positive contribution to their communities,” he said. Final year student Madison Reynolds – who is in her the final few months of the six year program – added that students need to be absolutely passionate about medicine in order to successfully graduate. “It’s a lot of work and such a huge commitment of time; you really won’t get through it unless you’re genuinely passionate about medicine. It’s been hard work, but I really love it so much and am so excited about the future. I am also very thankful to have received the Balnaves scholarship as it has allowed me to focus on my studies. The degree is so demanding that I’ve had no time for a job,” she said. The Balnaves Foundation Indigenous Medical Scholarship program has so far graduated three doctors and is currently supporting another six Indigenous students studying medicine. The Balnaves Foundation has generously committed to providing an additional scholarship, which will support a student commencing in 2016. Trustee and General Manager of the Balnaves Foundation Hamish Balnaves, also in attendance, said: "Increasing the number of Indigenous university graduates is central to creating long term systemic change that will close the gap. We fund these scholarships because we believe Indigenous doctors are well placed to play a leading role in improving health outcomes in Indigenous communities. Doctors are also in a good position to become leaders and role models in their community and set the aspirations for the next generation to go to University."


These scholarships combined with the academic and social support services provided by the Nura Gili Indigenous Programs Unit and the Rural Clinical School play a key role in UNSW’s success in recruiting and retaining Indigenous students. According to Professor Nakata: “The Indigenous retention rate at UNSW is now almost at parity with all UNSW students because of the way we do things here. I hope the record achievements being made at our university encourage room for renewed emphasis on Indigenous education agendas and benchmarks across the higher education sector.” Associate Dean (Rural Health) and Head of the UNSW Rural School Dr Lesley Forster reiterated the importance of the Balnaves scholarships and Nura Gili in light of the critical need for more Indigenous doctors.

“Right now there is a shortage of Indigenous doctors in Australia. It’s critical that we get more Indigenous students to study medicine nationwide, as this will help redress the imbalance between Indigenous and non-Indigenous healthcare – and I think UNSW Medicine is working very hard to help achieve this goal.”

UNSW launched its Indigenous medical entry scheme in 1998, the same year Dr Kelvin Kong, Australia’s first Aboriginal surgeon, graduated from UNSW. He had campaigned for greater recruitment of Indigenous students while at UNSW. When Dr Kong started practising, he was one of only 20 Indigenous doctors nationwide. There are currently 49 students enrolled in the medical program at UNSW – the highest in Australia and a significant proportion of the 310 Indigenous medical students studying nationwide.

Emma O'Neill, Marketing and Communications Officer, UNSW Medicine This article was first published 9 July 2015


My name is Tobias Elliott-Orr and I am a Wiradjuri man with Maori and Irish heritage as well. I grew up predominantly in the Blue Mountains in NSW and I am in my second year of an Arts/Law degree at UNSW. My major is in Criminology and my minor is in Indigenous Studies. I have a strong focus on social justice and equality issues especially for Indigenous peoples. Coming into this internship I wanted to gain experience of working in social policy and gain knowledge to have influence in policy areas affecting disadvantaged peoples. I am working in the Disability, Carers and Mental Health section of the department and I have been able to gain an understanding about how this area of the system works. I have been lucky enough to have been given a research project into the issues and problems faced by the department and other organisations that provide these services so that more strategic energy can be focused into addressing such concerns. The best part of the experience has been doing research into service providers’ operations to identify the biggest barriers for helping people with mental illness and/or disabilities: this correlates directly with the area of work I am interested in. Above: Sarah Jarrett, Courtney Risco, Kimberley Peckham, Tobias Elliot-Orr

My name is Bridget Cama and I’m a Wiradjuri woman, with Aboriginal heritage on my Mother’s side and Fijian on my Father’s. I grew up in Lithgow, NSW and I’m in my second year of studying a Bachelor of Arts/ Law majoring in Indigenous studies and minoring in Politics. I have a keen interest in social justice, human rights and Indigenous issues. I am currently placed in the families and communities section. Coming into this internship I wanted to attain some experience in office work and administrative skills, but mainly wanted to learn about the inner workings of the departmental area of government and how the Public Service implements government funding into services and community programs. With a keen interest in the social services and welfare area, I have been fortunate enough to go out on many site visits and see how my section works in the delivering of funding and programs. The most enjoyable and qualitative experiences so far have been these site visits as I have been able to talk to those on the ground who are directly working to deliver these services first hand and also those that use these services. 7

My name is Kimberley Peckham and I am a Wiradjuri woman from Wellington, NSW. I am in my first year of Arts/Law majoring in Indigenous studies and minoring in Politics. I have always had a strong interest in politics and justice, especially the way our people have been underrepresented within the parliamentary system and policy processes. By gaining the internship with the Department of Social Services it has allowed me a start to gain experience within the government and the way certain sections operate. This year I have been working within the Aged Care section of the department and being able to work within the section has taught me a lot about the different process that take place for any public services and initiatives. I have been able to gain firsthand experience on the different services that are provided to our elderly and how certain issues affect their everyday lives, such as basic need to clean their house or to have a social outlet. I was also fortunate to be included in a project that looks at the different needs that are associated with our Indigenous and culturally diverse elderly which allowed me to have an input into certain survey questions and project outcomes. I hope in the future to be able to gain experience within policy area’s and national office as Indigenous policy making is an area I am passionate about as we are currently underrepresented within policy making for our people.

Above: Sharon Windsor, John Leha, Janette Chester, Emma Jobson, Courtney Risco, Tobias Elliot, Kimberley Peckham and Aunty Kathleen Smith




Left Jessie Simon-Fitzpatrick

The Art & Design Faculty provided ten wonderful Winter School participants with the opportunity to create work in a supportive environment that aimed to pique their interest in the visual arts as a genuine study and career option. On Tuesday the participants worked with curator, performance and visual artist, Emma Price in the area of sculpture where they made plaster casts using found objects picked up on a walk around the Paddington campus. Wednesday saw the students return to Paddington to work with Matt Cartwright in the area of digital filming and editing. The students learnt how to use a digital film camera to capture images around the Paddington campus and then edit their morning’s work into a series of short films. Thursday found the students in the printmaking studio in the capable hands of printmaker Bruce Latimer who guided the students through many aspects of marking a mark on an etching plate and creating an image through the process etching . This day saw them create two proofs of their work before they all had a turn and working the printing press to produce their final coloured image. This year the staff at the UNSW Galleries offered a space in the foyer of the gallery to stage an exhibition that grew each day as art works were created. This exhibition was officially opened on Thursday afternoon by 2014 Winter School participant and current 1st year Fine Arts student, Lisa-Jane Van Dyk. Each day Arc provided morning tea for the students as well as offering up the student lounge area for lunch and for a meeting place. This provided the students with an idea of what the student union provides and how student life is enhanced by such a service. The students all enjoyed their time with us at Paddington and those who were in Year 12 showed a keen interest into making serious enquiries into enrolling at UNSW in 2016. Some of the students researched celebrated Indigenous artists who have participated in arts residencies at Art & Design and from this research their ideas of what is and what isn’t ‘art’ was challenged and connections to those artists have been forged. Thanks to all the staff at UNSW Art & Design for helping make this year’s Winter School incredibly successful. It takes a faculty to raise one Winter School. I could not have done it without you. Tess Allas Director, Indigenous Programs, UNSW Art & Design 11


UNSW Built Environment hosted five Indigenous students from across Australia as part of the Nura Gili Winter School. The School is a UNSW wide initiative targeted at Indigenous students in years 10, 11 and 12 who are considering further studies beyond high school. The program gives students a taste of university life as well as an introduction and insight into career opportunities. Built Environment students led activities including site analysis, drawing and virtual model making. Thought provoking design exercises encouraged students to challenge their ideas about the built environment. Students then took their learning out of the classroom with a visit to the Sydney Opera House, touring the interiors and learning about the architecture and history of place at Bennelong Point. Students also toured the Dr Chau Chak Wing Building designed by Canadian Architect Frank Ghery, the Bondi Coastal Walk, and learnt about construction processes with Lend Lease at the Barangaroo development. Patrick Franklyn, a Sydney Landscape Architect offered to tour the students through the city. His technical and historical knowledge combined with industry connections proved invaluable. He said of the program : “The Winter School program connects students to people in industry who are passionate about what they do. If you’re deciding what career path to choose, I think it’s really important to visit well designed projects and meet people who inspire you.” The Nura Gili students liaised with current industry professional throughout the three days and finished the trip with a visit to ASPECT Studios, who opened their office doors to give students an idea of what a working studio looks like. A special thank you to Patrick Franklyn, Linda Kennedy, Alex and team at ASPECT Studios, Virginia and team at Lend Lease, Built Environment student ambassadors Ben Vella and Andrew Wu, Nura Gili supervisors, staff and everyone who took part in making the week a success. Left: Students learn about columns and trusses and are tasked with designing the tallest and most structurally sound tower.

Liz Roberts Community Engagement and Marketing Officer, UNSW Built Environment This story was first published on 13 July 2015


Above: with MD and UNSW Alum John OSullivan, GM Steve Murphy, John Huggins and Owen Walsh at Tourism Australia

“Meeting and interacting with Business leaders, truly eye opening and influential” “Most of all it was a great experience and I got a taste of things you can do” ‘Meeting fantastic people- knowing what Business is like”. “Meeting everyone and learning about what they do and how they got to be who they are now” 2015 Winter School Participants – Our Business Our Future

@PaulDobing Sharing stories over strength cards and brainstorming Indigenous business #deadlytable @UNSWbusiness @NuraGili


Learning how to succeed in business, access multimillion dollar government contracts or find out more about entrepreneurship were all par for the course for students who elected business at this year's UNSW Indigenous Winter School, now in its 13th year. Almost 100 students from Wee Waa to Canberra, Rockhampton to Armidale took part in the week-long residential program that gives year 10,11 and 12 Indigenous students an insight into UNSW. Six students attracted to courses such as economics and commerce, accounting, management and marketing, came to UNSW Business School. They heard from a panel of Indigenous business, industry and government representatives including businessman Aden Ridgeway, a former politician and Australia's first Indigenous Senator; as well as Indigenous students currently studying at UNSW. Curston Small, a year 11 student from Wee Waa, wants to be an accountant. She takes business studies at high school and has a traineeship at a local accounting firm. "I want to see the world, have new opportunities and meet new people," she said. Business School management lecturer Ricardo Flores' career path had so impressed Kiah Marshall, a year 11 student from Canberra, she wants to study management at UNSW. Aden Ridgeway said the government's procurement policy provided great opportunities for indigenous businesses and contractors through organisations such as Supply Nation, set up by two Indigenous entrepreneurs. Supply Nation is based on a US model aimed at increasing the number of minority groups awarded supply contracts. He said models like this had flow on effects – not only because they made it more likely minority firms would be selected, but also because these firms were more likely than non-Indigenous firms to employ Indigenous people, so they increased employment opportunities overall. "The currency of business knowledge and practice is key when it comes to self-determination, from the ability to build and manage your personal finances to determining the impact of budgetary decisions whether in a community, corporation, government policy, educational contexts," said Rebecca Harcourt Program Manager of Indigenous Business Education at UNSW and facilitator of the Winter School Business program. "When we are able to live well, true to our individual and shared aspirations, we can harness all sorts of possibilities to support ourselves and our families, connecting with the lives of our friends and colleagues. Here at UNSW with the incredible partnership and support from both Nura Gili Indigenous Programs Unit and UNSW Business School our Indigenous business students are able to thrive and many of our Indigenous business students and Alumni return for Winter School to encourage participants realise their dreams." Highlights of this year's Business program included lectures in Information Systems, Entrepreneurship and a visit to Tourism Australia all led by Owen Walsh a fourth year Wiradjuri student who is studying a dual degree at UNSW business School. Janine MacDonald, Director Public Affairs, UNSW Business School This article was first published on 13 July 2015


“To be a good teacher definitely is to be passionate about teaching, and to pursue this pathway, all the mentors and special guests’ stories have definitely opened my views on uni and teaching.” “We got to reflect and actually think about the qualities of a teacher and the type of learner I want to be and should aspire to be.” “Teaching isn’t just about what you go and teach your class, it’s how you treat them, how much passion and inspiration you give them too.” “A teacher can be anyone, not just at school. Teachers, of all shapes and sizes, have a very important role in people’s lives.” Winter School Participants–Education Program 2015

As the weather starts getting colder, attention turns to Nura Gili’s annual Winter School program. This is an event that the School of Education is proud to be involved with, and once again we were looking forward to having the opportunity of working with ten high school students from NSW, Qld, and Tassie, as they learn about the life of a university student, studying Education at UNSW, and why becoming a teacher is an exciting and rewarding path. The three faculty days that the students spent with us included a wide range of activities that invited the students to consider what is involved with becoming an inspiring teacher; how to motivate, engage and work with students in the classroom; the value and importance of collaborative learning; and how to make use of innovative technologies such as stop motion films in the classroom. On the opening day we also had a visit from Dr. Linden Wilkinson, who shared her experiences of working in, and teaching in, the performing arts. As with last year, an unforgettable highlight of the week for all involved was the visit to Bundeena in the Royal National Park. The students participated in the Jibbon guided tour that included learning about local Aboriginal stories, peoples and cultural sites. Once again the visit to Tigger’s Honeypot Pre-school was also was also very popular with the students, with many disappointed faces when it was time to leave. Following this, we had a visit from a representative from the Department of Education, who provided the students with information about a range of scholarship opportunities available to university students and early career teachers. Current UNSW education students were again invited to volunteer and be involved with the program. It is a wonderful - and for some eye-opening opportunity to experience first hand what it is like to get to know and work with a group of high school students. These future teachers did a great job planning and then facilitating a number of the workshops across the program. They quickly established a good rapport with the students and a supportive, friendly, and fun experience was had by all. One of the participants describes well the spirit of the program, 16

“This just reaffirmed that I am studying the right thing. Teaching is hard but so rewarding. It’s exciting to think my future career might involve lots of kids like the ones from the Winter School.” A big thank-you to Abarna, Prema, Gerthika, Ly, Lila, Courtney, Christine, Lara, Liz, Taylor and Elsa for your contribution. Thanks also to Brendan Webb, Katherine Thompson and the team at the School of Education for your support - Terry Cumming, you always offer an entertaining, motivating and memorable workshop. Special thanks also to Tamara and Jay, the Nura Gili appointed supervisors of the group for the week, who always contributed enthusiastically. It was particularly rewarding to have Jay involved. He participated as a high school student last year, and now he is enrolled and studying education. Jay’s enthusiasm and experiences added much to the week. It is a privilege to once again be involved in the annual Winter School, and it is a pleasure to have the opportunity of working with a motivated, committed, connected and positive group of students. I am confident that we can look forward to seeing some of these aspiring teachers going on to work in schools across Australia, and while we hope that their future studies may bring some of them here to the School of Education at UNSW, we wish all of them luck as they complete their education and pursue their dreams, wherever they may lead. Some of the feedback gives a good indication of how the students appreciate the opportunity to participate in the program. While it is always a busy few days, as you can see in the photos from Bundeena, this is an amazing program and I am already looking forward to next year’s Winter School Dr Greg Vass, Lecturer, School of Education, UNSW


Having the chance to meet lecturers and Indigenous law students I might meet throughout the course helps greatly.” “UNSW is a great university and I am less scared of university now. I can’t wait to apply and hopefully attend UNSW.” “The mini-moot was really fun to do! I learnt a lot about the procedures of the court system”. Winter School Participants–Law program 2015

Nine Indigenous high school students from as far afield as Hobart and Nana Glen (near Coffs Harbour) spent a week of their recent school holidays experiencing what it’s like to be a student at UNSW Law as part of the Nura Gili Winter School. After introductions on Day 1, participants attended UNSW’s celebration of NAIDOC Week: a flag-raising ceremony, traditional performance and bush tuckerthemed morning tea. One student remarked that “this was a good cultural experience, entertaining and showed how seriously UNSW takes Indigenous affairs.” A critical part of the Law program is to show participants that they are capable of being the next generation of Indigenous law students and, eventually, lawyers. One way to learn this is by meeting current Indigenous law students at all stages of their own studies so that participants come to realise that others from similar backgrounds are living their dreams. For example, participants met and spoke to Teela Reid, a final year JD student who is also the Law Society’s Vice President – Social Justice. At Law’s ‘Welcome’ morning tea, 18

third year Indigenous Arts/Law student, Jason O’Neil, spoke to many of the participants – including his younger brother, Mike. The group was also closely supervised throughout by current Indigenous law students Danielle Hobday, Jake Fing and Stephanie Gray. Just last year, Stephanie herself was a Winter School participant, and it was a turning point for her in terms of setting a goal to study Law at UNSW. After completing the Indigenous Pre-Law Program in 2014, Stephanie is doing just that! Jake Fing, a second year Arts/Law student, had his first chance to be a Nura Gili Winter School supervisor this year and says: “As a team, myself, Danielle and Steph were able to help Jeni in giving the students a fulfilling experience with the law faculty. From learning how to argue a case in court, to reading a piece of legislation, to visiting Gilbert +Tobin in the city, we endeavoured to make Winter School an unforgettable experience. To know that I had the chance to be involved in helping these guys potentially shape their future, is an experience that I can never forget.” Participants also had the privilege of meeting two of UNSW Law’s most recent Indigenous graduates, Chantelle Porter (BA/LLB ’15) and Dominic Zahra (BA/LLB ’15). Chantelle will be completing a stint working at the Public Defenders in September and Dominic is working as a paralegal at the ABC before he starts further study in 2016. Each spoke honestly about their own journeys as Indigenous law students, shared what they’ve learned along the way and encouraged the participants to believe in themselves and never give up. Getting a feel for law in practice also helps Winter School students to appreciate how important a legal qualification could be to their future careers. We visited Kingsford Legal Centre and Gilbert+Tobin. While at Gilbert+Tobin, Stephanie Gray caught up with her mentor, Norman Laing, who’s currently working with the firm’s pro bono practice in conjunction with being Executive Director of Waratah Partners. Stephanie and Norman, left, have been paired as part of the UNSW Law/Gilbert+Tobin mentoring initiative for 1st year Law students. Read more here:

Year 12 Indigenous students with an interest in studying law, and especially former Winter School students currently completing Year 12, should consider applying for the UNSW Indigenous Pre Program in Law. This is an excellent preparation for the study of Law at university and can be an entry pathway into UNSW Law’s degree programs. Many Indigenous Law students attribute a solid start and on-going success in their Law studies to the UNSW Indigenous Pre Program in Law. Jeni Engel, Director of Indigenous Legal Education UNSW Law



It was a beautiful sunny morning when we all hopped on the bus to Circular Quay from UNSW. The School of the Arts and Media (SAM) were hosting ten creative arts high school students who are part of the Nura Gili Indigenous Winter School program and were lucky enough to be visiting the Sydney Theatre Company, Australian Theatre for Young People and Bangarra Dance Theatre. In visiting these arts organisations the students learn about the many roles available in the creative arts. Joining us on our tour were two special guests, Alison Murphy-Oates, a Ngiyampaa Wailwan & Darkinjung woman who is a program manager at the British Council and SAM graduate Louana Sainsbury, a proud Darug and Darkinjung woman who works at Performing Lines as an associate producer. This outing was just one of many activities that SAM staff planned for the students during their three days with us. The students were accompanied for the three days by two UNSW student supervisors Ryan Ahearn and Vanessa Turnbull All of the students are in in years 10, 11 or 12 and came from as far away as Molendinar in Queensland and Wee Waa in western New South Wales. The Winter School provides students with a broad overview of what it is like to study and work in the creative and performing arts at UNSW. Over the course of three days the students got a taste of what SAM has to offer. Starting with postgraduate teaching fellow Jessica Ford, who welcomed the students to SAM and gave them a brief lecture on what it means to study in the creative and performing arts. With lecturer Alyssa Rothwell the students made a one-minute stop motion animation. With honours student and dance artist Victoria Hunt they got to experience a movement class and postgraduate teaching fellow Christopher Oakey treated the students to a creative writing workshop. Dr. Brigid Costello challenged the students to think differently about media in her workshop, while MPU manager Sonia Maddock taught the students how to make music with cups. Dr. Caroline Wake inspired the students with her theatre and performance studies lecture. 21

This article was first published 22 Jul 2015

The students finished their time in SAM with visiting artist Cat Jones who taught them about sensory perception. The students even got to experience the installation she is working on. It was hard getting them to go home at the end of the day. In just three days, the students learnt the difference between acting and performance art, made friends for life and some students were even offered work experience opportunities from the companies we visited. In the final reflection forum, the students all said the most important thing they’d gained was confidence. On the final night the students attended a dinner where stories of success and failure were shared. The feeling in the room was extraordinary. It was full of love and respect and hope for a wonderful future with support from friends and their new UNSW family. The 2015 Winter School program in SAM was organised by Anne Brewster with Jessica Ford, Chris Oakey, Jennifer Beale and Su Goldfish. Su Goldfish, Manager, Producer, Creative Practice Lab & Jessica Ford, School of the Arts and Media, UNSW Animation created by 2015 UNSW Winter School Students with Media lecturer Alyssa Rothwell can be viewed here:




UNSW Science hosted six keen high school students from across NSW as part of the Nura Gili Winter School. The Nura Gili Science program was conceived with the intention of the students gaining an invaluable foresight into life as a UNSW Science student. Mathematics superstar academic, former DJ and lecturer, Associate Professor Chris Tisdell, welcomed the students on their first day, followed by two Science Student Ambassadors, who recounted their experiences as students.

As Science is so varied, the students attended sessions across a number of fields, including Genetics, Diseases, Chemistry, Physics, Anatomy, Maths and Optometry. Along the way participants were able to meet the great teachers and students we have and learned firsthand the opportunities available at UNSW. It was topped off at the end with a visit to the Powerhouse Museum with the Engineering cohort, showcasing advancements in Science and Technology across past, present and future Nick Langley Marketing Assistant, UNSW Science


“Bill’s Panel”

Emcee Owen Walsh



Joe Masters Murray… Tamara Kenny.. Interviewer: Nura Gili’s Head of Student Services Michael Peachey Below Rebekah Interviewer Owen Walsh

Before I begin I would also like to acknowledge and pay my respects to the Elders both past and present of the Bidjigal people, thank Mick and Cheryl for inviting me to talk with you today and for their continued support. As I look at all of you in your graduation gowns I want to ask you a question. What are you going to do with the gift of knowledge you have received this week? I challenge you over the coming weeks to think about the lessons learnt this week, the friends made and the new opportunities that have presented themselves to you. You look at me and I bet you are asking yourself who is this guy wearing a flash suit, challenging me about what I have learnt this week. Well my name is Ben Eisikovich and I have been in your shoes. I am a proud Kamilaroi man who comes from a single parent home. I am a recent graduate of this great university and I am working as a finance graduate in Australia’s second largest company and lead domestic bank Westpac. If you were to ask me what my greatest achievement is, it would be coming from a single parent home. This may come as a shock to a number of you, but that is one of the major reasons responsible for making me who I am today. Coming from a situation of hardship from a young age provides you with many invaluable lessons. It teaches you how to deal with pain, to have resilience, patience and sheer determination. Everyone can be good when things are running well, but it’s how you act when things are tough that test your will and make you who you are. Everyday there are going to be a number of people and situations that challenge your will and your mental toughness. The more brilliance you have the more you are tested. You need to fight through the depression and anxiety and you have to use all of the negative circumstances around you and channel that into positive energy that will help you succeed. One safe way to do this is to know what motivates you to do something. You need to know your why! Your ‘why’ is the reason of your existence and is what makes you get out of bed early in the morning when you feel like getting more sleep. It’s ok if you don’t know your why just yet; I didn’t know mine until I first met Nura Gili 6 years ago. Here I was halfway through year 10 and not sure what I was going to do with the rest of my life when my career advisor offered me this incredible opportunity to attend and stay at university for a whole week. That opportunity was a turning point in my life. I remember arriving to this new exciting place late on a Sunday evening, feeling nervous, excited and even a little scarred. Kind of like when you say goodbye to your parents for your first day of primary school. But when I was in the holding room where you arrive, the other participants and Nura Gili staff made me feel like I was at home. It’s hard to explain the spiritual connection that I feel with Nura Gili and this university but what I can tell you, is that first day on campus as I was walked down main walkway for the very first time I knew that I was going to study at university and this was the place I was going to do it. Everything from the ancient fig tree near the Whitehouse to the Village Green had me encapsulated; and all this was before we even began doing any faculty related activities. Over the ensuing week I was introduced to the Australian School of Business where I had the opportunity to meet a number of lecturers, use the various facilities, go on an excursion to Coca Cola Amatil and learn


about the different subjects you can study through Commerce such as Finance and Accounting. That week will always be one of the best weeks of my life because it gave me something to aspire to and a number of new brothers and sisters from all over Australia. After that week I made a commitment to studying hard to ensure I get into university. No one was going to stop me. I didn’t have a detailed plan about how I was going to get to university but I knew that if I took a small action every day and tried to make myself better that there was no way that I was not going to achieve what I wanted. Fast forward two years, I am graduating high school and getting ready for university and again Nura Gili was there for me in a critical part of my life. I applied for UNSW Indigenous Pre Program in Business which is a four week residential program and pathway into university. Over the four weeks I attended classes 9-5 Monday to Friday studying and being tested on content from the first couple of weeks of each core course for a Bachelor of Commerce. It put me ahead of all the other students that were going to start studying commerce because I knew the key lecturers, the content, how to navigate my way around this big university but most importantly who I could turn to when I needed help. You really don’t realise and appreciate the level of support Nura Gili provides until you start university. They facilitate ITAS which provides you with a tutor for all of your subjects throughout the degree at no cost. However, the most beneficial thing for me is having a single place on campus where I can go 24/7 if I want to study or just catch up with everyone and have a yarn about what is happening. The ability to come to Nura Gili and see everyone helps put into perspective that there are others going through the same trials and tribulations as you and also illustrates how much stronger our communities are going to become as we keep becoming more educated. Some of the key take outs from my experience is you need to discover what makes you happy, what you are interested in and then create a strong set of principles and habits on your journey to achieving that. This journey will be tough so you absolutely need to know who to turn to when things aren’t going to plan. I would be lying if I said that things have never been bad. There have been countless times during my degree where I would question if I was doing the right thing. But I think of my mum, my community and the Nura Gili family and that gives me strength and clarity I need. I am becoming educated for them, because my success is there success. My dream is to see communities being financially self-sufficient! So I will keep learning by becoming a qualified Chartered Accountant and I will keep pushing through with things until that is achieved. This brings me to my next point in which you need to stay focused on your journey. There are going to be a number of distractions and incidents such as relationships, friendships family problems and work. Don’t ever feel like you have to compromise on your dream because of friends and family. You need to stick with it! I use the loss of my family members to give me the strength to keep moving forward and prove to everybody that tried to break me and tried to stop and kill my dream that you will not be beaten. As I look at you in your graduation gowns; you are the youth of today who will grow into the elders of tomorrow and if I can give you a gift today I’d like to leave you with these words. Set a dream! Always look to improve yourself! Let nobody stop you obtaining your dream and most importantly stay deadly! Thank you Ben Eisikovich BCom Nura Gili UNSW Business School Alum


The Nura Gili Winter School program we have all participated in throughout this week has not only been the journey of self-awareness but also one of spirituality and bonding of friendship between all participants. Yet at the beginning of this journey there was nothing more than an awkward ‘hey’ and a shrug of the shoulders instead of the usual responses to the questions we were asked by the energised supervisors who’ve managed to loyally stay by our sides and help us throughout our daily routines without going insane. The program facilitated different experiences for almost every student and provided a variety of options into the branch of study we engaged in.

For my study, I had successfully enrolled into education. Throughout the days we were given lectures and engaged in educational learning activities with the helping hand of a group of university student volunteers currently studying education. We were also given the opportunity to mingle and engage with the children from Tigger Honeypot early education centre. We all made many memories and were privileged to get our own name tags professionally made by the little ones. During the night we were always given something to do including more lectures, performance, group work and entertainment including a rigged and very controversial game of rugby league which caused a collapse in many of the friendships we had made for the remainder of the night!

To finish on a positive note, the Winter school program of 2015 has given every attendee a range of experiences, opportunities, lifelong lasting friendships and a preparation for our futures. I would like to sincerely thank and acknowledge all the staff and organisers including supervisors, faculty leaders, university student volunteers, office staff, caterers and the rest of the leadership involved, for their contribution towards making such a tremendous event occur and giving all of the students before me such an experience. So on behalf of all of us here, thank you and farewell, this has been a week not one of us will forget. Hopefully quite a few of us will in time become regular faces to your amazing surroundings. My brother, my sister, this is my mob, this is your mob, this is our mob, we are family. Harrison Cotterall, Winter School participant 2015


Congratulations 2015 Winter School Spirit Award Winners

Yarrika Vincent & Jordan Clarke Presented by Jay Carroll a Vanessa Turnbull 2015 Winter School supervisors and recipients of 2014 Winter School Spirit Awards

Congratulations 2015 Winter School House Awards



Built Environment (Architecture, Construction and Design)






Indigenous Studies





Performing Arts



Social Work

Art & Design


Day Supervisors Built Environment – Tiana Furner-McBeath, studying Built Environment & Hamish Albany studying Medicine Business – Owen Walsh studying Commerce / Information Systems, Sarah Wellings studying Social Work, Education – Tamara Kenny studying Law & Jay Carroll studying Design / Education Engineering – Juanita Scott-Funaki studying Arts / Media) & Sam Stapleton studying Medicine Indigenous Studies – Monique Ah-See studying Arts/Media, & Corey Smith studying Law / Indigenous Studies Law – Danielle Hobday & Jake Fing & Stephanie Gray, all studying Law Medicine – Michelle Toy studying International Studies and Media, & Corey Williams studying Medicine Performing Arts – Vanessa Turnbull studying Social Work / Criminology / Criminal Justice & Ryan Ahearne studying Arts / Education Science – Lucinda Stewart studying Arts/Law, & Matt Taylor studying Science Social Work – Desiree Leha studying Social Work (Honours) / Law & Jason Sines studying Medicine Visual Arts – Murrie Kemp studying Exercise Physiology Night Supervisors Senior Supervisors: Brylie Frost studying Medicine & Quinton Vea Vea studying Exercise Physiology Rhyan Clapham BMus & currently studying Honours in Indigenous studies Riley Court-Bennett studying Medicine Kyron McGrath studying Law Bec Davison studying Medicine Kaleesha Morris studying Law Yanti Ropeyarn BCOM Nura Gili UNSW Business School Alum Teeyanna Tapim-Savage studying Law Rianna Tatana BA & currently studying Honours in Theatre and Performance Studies Jenavive Westbury studying Law



As part of his research towards the Wiradjuri Astronomy Project, PhD candidate Trevor Leaman is exploring the hypothesis that certain landscapes were used to observe the movements of the Sun, Moon and several important stars. The Seven Sisters Ridge at Yarabandai, between Parkes and Condobolin, is so named as it is associated with an important dreaming relating to the stars of the Pleiades, or Seven Sisters. It is one of several sites being investigated by Trevor. Over the weekend of the winter solstice (20th-22nd June), members of the Indigenous Astronomy team from Nura Gili ventured out to Seven Sisters Ridge to witness two important astronomical events: the heliacal rise (the first sighting of an important star or star cluster just before sunrise) of the Pleiades, and the winter solstice sunrise itself. The north-south orientation of the ridgeline makes it perfectly ideal for observing the movements of the Sun throughout the year, and hence a means of dividing the year for cultural and ceremonial purposes. The December Solstice and March Equinox sunrise positions along the ridgeline have already been observed previously.

Image - The Pleiades, or Seven Sisters, feature prominently in many First Nations Songlines and Dreaming stories here and around the world


The first morning was a frosty minus two degrees, with a band of fog obscuring the eastern horizon, making observations of the Pleiades heliacal rise difficult, but resulting in an eerie but spectacular sunrise. We had much better luck observing both phenomena the next morning, with only a hint of mist and a balmy (in comparison) plus two degrees! The field trip was also the perfect opportunity for members of the Indigenous Astronomy team and accompanying participants to familiarise themselves with the night sky and to observe the planets Venus, Jupiter and Saturn, as well as several deep sky objects, through a telescope. Daytime activities included a demonstration by Dr Duane Hamacher and PhD candidate Bob Fuller on how to conduct an archaeological survey, and a talk by our Wiradjuri host, Russell Spencer, on the science and art of local material culture. Russell also led us along the creek bank adjacent to the campsite where he pointed out several scar trees, including a large ‘canoe tree’, giving clear evidence of past cultural activity in the area. Above: Observers watching a frosty and foggy morning sunrise at Seven Sisters Ridge.

The event also served as the official launch of “Sky Stories: 50000 years of astronomies on the inland plains of NSW”, a creative collaboration initiated by local artists Merrill Findlay (writer, University of Canberra) and Christine McMillan (visual artist, ArtsOutwest) focussing on the sharing and interpretation of stories about peoples’ relationship with the night sky, and to celebrate the achievements of the Parkes radio telescope. Several local artists joined us on camp for this launch. The Seven Sisters Ridge campsite is situated at Burrawang South, a property managed by John and Nana Peters. On behalf of the Nura Gili Indigenous Astronomy Team and the Local Artists Group, we would like to thank John & Nana for allowing access to the site, and acknowledge their continued support for the Wiradjuri Astronomy Project. Trevor Leaman Right Dr Duane Hamacher & Bob Fuller demonstrating how to set up an archaeological dig.


with guest speaker Jo Grisard Deputy Commissioner of the NSW Public Service Commission.

Date: Monday 10 August Time: 12.30pm-1.30pm Venue: Nura Gili Board Room The NSW Government is calling for applications for the 2016 NSW Government Graduate Program and is encouraging Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Students to apply. The Program includes 18 months' experience and offers three rotations in different agencies, with formal mentoring, an executive sponsor, networking, development opportunities as well as an ongoing role offer upon successful completion of the Program. A member of the Aboriginal Workforce Development Team will also attend the information session and would be more than happy to meet and have a yarn with Aboriginal students who come along. To find out more about the program, including how to apply, applicants can go to Applications close on Friday, 14 August 2015.


Hannah Kalland I am seven years old. I go to school at St Therese in Mascot. I am in Grade 2Silver. My favourite subject is English. My favourite sports are netball, swimming, dancing and singing. I really liked the Winter School Formal Dinner, the desert and the music. Talara Kalland I am nine years old I go to school at St Therese in Mascot and give the Cultural Acknowledgment. I am in grade 4. My three favourite subjects are Maths, Drama and Art My favourite sports are netball and singing. My journey during winter school was very good, even though I was not a winter school student. The Winter School Formal Dinner was great and I met some great people who work here. The thing I liked about the graduation was at the end when all of the winter school kids got up and sang their theme song. Interview with Rebecca Harcourt

Talara & Hannah are the eldest two daughters of Nura Gili’s Natalie Foster


Time: 5.30- 630pm Date: Wed 12th August 2015

Venue: Nura Gili UNSW Map Location G17

Are you, your family, friends affected by Diabetes? Would you know what to do if you or someone you were with had a hypo? Do you know the difference between living with Type 1 or Type 2 or Gestational Diabetes? Would you like to know more? Join us for an evening which will include a panel with Q&A followed by refreshments in an informative and welcoming environment where all contributions are welcome All welcome and to register please follow this link

Our Panel: (1) Nura Gili UNSW JD Law student Teela Reid who is passionate about raising awareness of type 1 and 2 diabetes after her mother lived with type 1 and experienced renal failure. Teela ran the Sydney marathon and raised $2524 for the Australian Diabetes Council read about her marathon experience here: (2) Nura Gili News Editor Rebecca Harcourt lives with Type 1 diabetes and is undertaking a trek in September to raise funds as an Ambassador for DiabetesNSW

(3) Brad Goodwin, Paramedic & Chairman Board of Director with Integrity First Aid Training

Diabetes is a persistent health issue in many of our Communities and having a sound understanding of symptoms and signs related to living with Diabetes could be life-saving.



UNSW Australia has three campuses located in Kensington (main campus), Paddington (Art and Design) and Canberra (Australian Defence Force Academy). The main campus is located in Bedegal country and situated near an 8000 year old campsite. This campsite was a place where the Indigenous people of that country would gather and meet to teach their culture, knowledge and stories to their next generation of leaders. In 1949, UNSW was established providing the opportunity to pave a long history of teaching and research excellence and to gain the reputation for graduating the brightest and most highly qualified students in the country. With nine prestigious and award winning faculties, over 300 undergraduate, postgraduate and research programs being taught and more than 50,000 students, from 120 countries, the campsite traditions of gathering, meeting, teaching and sharing are being carried from the past in to the present.

Prior to 2004 Nura Gili was known as the Aboriginal Education Program (AEP) and the Aboriginal Research and Resource Centre. The AEP was established to provide Indigenous Australians studying at UNSW with the support needed to fully succeed in their studies. With the increasing number of Indigenous Australian students enrolling at UNSW and the need for improved academic and student support services, the AEP and Aboriginal Research and Resource Centre merged and became Nura Gili Indigenous Programs Unit. As a leader in Indigenous education, our purpose is to enrich Australia culturally and professionally. Nura Gili strives to enhance the capacity of Indigenous communities and individuals to engage in all aspects of Australian society - ensuring Indigenous knowledge, culture and histories are embedded in all aspects of the UNSW community. We provide a range of support services, Indigenous Studies programs and aspirational and pathway programs allowing us to be recognised nationally and internationally as a leader in academic and research excellence.

It’s important for us to provide a space that’s inspiring and creative, a space that will give you the best possible start to your higher education. In 2012, with the support of the Balnaves Foundation, we were able to build a state-of-the-art, central, innovative teaching and learning facility located in the heart of UNSW. At Balnaves Place, you will have 24 hour access to modern facilities with the most up to date technology, free printing facilities and private rooms for group and individual study in a calm and relaxing environment. Our centre has been designed for you.


Nura Gili News: If you would like to contribute ideas, news, letters and / or articles please contact the editor: Email: Telephone: 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 Balnaves Place, Lower GrounDFloor Electrical Engineering Building UNSW Australia NSW 2052 Email: General Enquiries;+61 2 9385 3805

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.

UNSW CRICOS Provider Code: 00098G | ABN: 57 195 873 179


Nura Gili News Special Winter School Edition 2015  

Our special Winter School issue highlights many of the great contributions by our Nura Gili students, Nura Gili and Faculty staff, to provid...

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