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Editorial A sense of belonging Nura Gili- About us


Welcome Director of Nura Gili, Professor Martin Nakata welcomes students to the new academic year


Ngurra Nura Gili intern Farhana Laffernis shares a window on this year’s Ngurra Orientation Program


A fresh approach - Jake’s Take on O week First year student Jake Fing shares the joys of his first O week


Law & Order CPU: Care and Protection Unit Fourth year law student Corey Smith provides insights about his summer internship with the Aboriginal Legal Centre


Australian Cultural Astronomy Nura Gili academic Dr Duane Hamacher shines a light on the teaching in the skies: ‘Indigenous Australians have been making sense of the stars for tens of thousands of years. They served as a map in the sky.’


Nura Gili-On the Road Nura Gili Student Recruitment Officer Leearna Williams inspires us all to pursue our dreams


UNSW Indigenous Winter School 2013 Nura Gili’s Winter School Coordinator Cheryl Ah See, encourages Indigenous high school students in years 10,11 & 12 to apply for this year’s program


Insights, motivation and experience An interview with Lizelle Leclair, one of Nura Gili’s Academic Support Officers


Nura Gili Calender – key dates

20 Year 12 Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander Student Info day


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Every time I walk into Balnaves Place the new home of Nura Gili I am met with the vibrancy of our Nura Gili Community where students and staff are heartedly engaged in their studies, work, conversations, laughter and friendships. New and familiar faces enter and are welcomed by Alicia Smith at reception. Phones are ringing with new enquiries; students in groups gather, supporting each other whilst others deep in concentration in their study and/or research or in one on one academic consultation with our staff. Students are completing application for ITAS tutoring, ambassador positions or being offered guidance and assistance across a raft of enquiries. Nura Gili is an environment where hard work and commitment are valued; leadership, consultation and collaboration are key- all reflecting the strengths of many legacies, where care of people, place and spirit continues to evolve and strengthen; challenging, encouraging and supporting us on our different journeys. Our new home is testament to this and a place where our students and staff can continue to flourish. This month’s issue of Nura Gili News reflects this vibrancy from the warm welcome from our Director, the enthusiasm of our new students, the impact Nura Gili students and staff are making in education, the professions and community - so reach for the stars who knows where this will lead! Rebecca Harcourt Edition 2 Contributors: Jake Fing Dr Duane Hamacher Rebecca Harcourt Farhana Laffernis Lizelle Leclair Professor Martin Nakata Cheryl Ah See Corey Smith Leearna Williams

Nura Gili Student Ambassadors: Shaarn Hayward Yale MacGillivray

Editor Nura Gili News: Rebecca Harcourt Thank you for all the great insights and feedback to our first edition of Nura Gili News. We are thrilled that over 2,400 readers downloaded our first issue! We hope you enjoy our second edition and will share it amongst your community- family, friends and colleagues. If you would like to contribute ideas, news, letters and / or articles please contact the editor Telephone: 0406720542 Email:

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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. If you would like to contribute to Indigenous scholarships for students at UNSW and/or Nura Gili Indigenous Programs please feel free to make initial contact with the Director of Nura Gili Professor Martin Nakata (B.EdHons 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 Centre for Indigenous Programs Electrical Engineering Building G17 UNIVESRITY OF NEW SOUTH WALES UNSW SYDNEY NSW 2052 AUSTRALIA

Telephone: 02 93853805 Email: Website:

If you would like further information about UNSW and our faculties:

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It always gives me pleasure to welcome our commencing and continuing students at the start of each academic year. This year gives me even greater pleasure because 2013 marks the first academic year we begin in Nura Gili’s new premises at Balnaves Place. We will begin this year with a record total of 330 Indigenous students at UNSW. It was exciting for all of Nura Gili staff to see the way students used the new Nura Gili facilities in the last few weeks of the 2012 academic year. We all felt such tremendous pride in you all. Your focused attendance to your studies encourages us and provides confidence that Nura Gili is well on its way to being the best Centre in the country. So to our continuing students, congratulations on your hard work and successes last year and welcome back once again. I also want to extend a big welcome to our new students who have been successful in gaining entry to UNSW. Nura Gili provides a place to meet, study, and seek assistance with big and small academic and personal concerns. The road to your degrees will have its ups and downs and for every student at some point the bumpy patches and setbacks can seem too difficult to overcome. But almost all difficulties can be overcome with a combination of our assistance and your determination. Older students will tell you that Nura Gili is like a family. Like family, we aim for your independence as students, thinkers, and future professionals. Like family, we encourage you to get out and mix in the wider world. Like family, we are interested in your experiences out there, good and not so good. Like family, when things are not going well, we want you to feel you can come to us and get some good advice, some support, some space to gather yourself and get back on track. Like family, we also expect you to practise those important human values and strengths of self-respect, integrity, honesty, and commitment to responsibilities, resilience in the face of setbacks, and care and concern for all others. On this note, I also want to extend a warm welcome to our non-Indigenous students who have enrolled in our Australian Indigenous Studies courses. Now that all sections of Nura Gili are together in one place, our Indigenous Studies students can be formally welcomed as guests of the Nura Gili family. All Indigenous Studies students have access to our student facilities including our 24/7 access section. This is a wonderful opportunity for students to mix and form relationships across the diverse cultural backgrounds of other UNSW students and our visiting international students. At this time of year it is a great pleasure for me to publically acknowledge and thank every Nura Gili staff member who helps to make us who we are and what we do today. Like me, all Nura Gili staff come to work in the morning focused and committed to the success and wellbeing of all our students. I personally am very proud to be part of the great team here. As the Director, it is also important for me to acknowledge that Nura Gili and the services we provide are only possible due to the generosity of our donors. These donors have made our Celebrating our students, alumni, staff and programs across all our communities 5

new building possible, sponsor our Pre-programs and Winter school programs, and provide numerous scholarships and other forms of financial and accommodation assistance. Leading with your success in your studies we hope to gain even more scholarship funding for next year’s students. So make sure you all do your best this year. It is important to remind yourselves that higher education is an opportunity that is not available to all. It is therefore still considered a privilege. Succeeding at university requires hard work and focus and it is this that makes the experience all the more rewarding. Your experience at university should transform the way you look at and think about the complex world you live in and share with billions of other fellow humans, living creatures, and natural and man-made systems. In the few short years you have at UNSW, I encourage you to enjoy the experience of stretching your minds and engaging in the freedom you have to explore the world of human knowledge. This freedom has been hard fought for by those Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander leaders who have gone before you and your presence and success here honours their struggle. Finally, can I wish you all the very best with your studies this year. Remember, like family, we like a good yarn too - so don’t forget to drop in from time to time if only to say hello. Director of Nura Gili Professor Martin Nakata- (B.Ed Hons.PhD)

Professor Nakata with Danielle Hobday (left) and Lucinda Stewart (right) Third Year Law Students

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The Ngurra Orientation Program is hosted by Nura Gili Student Services staff and complemented by the participation of University services to provide the best possible start at UNSW for Nura Gili’s commencing students. The 2013 program saw the attendance of fortythree enthusiastic first year Indigenous students at UNSW. Ngurra aims to inform and prepare students for the transition into the student experience at UNSW and Nura Gili. Over the course of two days in February, students participated in a number of activities, information sessions and workshops. These sessions were intended to equip all commencing students with the skills to succeed at University, both academically and socially. Academic workshops were designed to assist first year students with a solid grounding in critical reading, listening and writing as well as working in groups. Nura Gili Student Services staff provided information regarding the support available to students through the Indigenous Tutoring Assistance Scheme (ITAS), employment opportunities through Student Ambassadors and Winter School, as well participating in a Q & A panel discussion with current Nura Gili students studying in the faculties of Law, Engineering and Fine Arts on the realities of student life and experiences. Students additionally attended information sessions provided by UNSW services, such as The Hub, Counselling and Psychological Services, Arc @ UNSW, UNSW Library and the Learning Centre to introduce commencing students to the options available for student support outside of Nura Gili, as well as opportunities for students to gain personal and professional development experience through volunteering at UNSW. The purpose of Ngurra is not solely to achieve an academic advantage. Nura Gili staff takes this opportunity to personally meet with and provide opportunities for students to socialise with each other prior to commencing their studies. Social opportunities during Ngurra involved a variety of activities, breakfasts and morning teas with UNSW staff to ease into the transition for students to university life; forming lasting friendships and support networks with their fellow students. This is particularly beneficial for students who did not attend pathways programs such as Winter School, Spring Forum or Preparatory Programs - Ngurra aids in the process of forging connections at Nura Gili and within the broader UNSW community. The success of the Ngurra program could not have been achieved without the efforts of participating UNSW services staff. Nura Gili would like to acknowledge Dominic Fitzsimmons, Bill Buckley, Lizelle Leclair, Ben Kelly, Jilda Andrews, Edward Lukaszewski, Jeeves Verma, Kate Byrne, Rebecca Webb, Michael Otto and Adam Coles for hosting sessions to the benefit of our students. We would also like to express our gratitude to Gabriella Martyn and Varanya Mathanarajan from the Yellow Shirts program, for their efforts in voluntarily hosting campus tours for Nura Gili first year students. Farhana Laffernis Nura Gili intern, post graduate student, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences UNSW. P.S. On behalf of students and staff, we thank Farhana for all the work that she put into the development of a really worthwhile program. – Bill Buckley, Academic Skills Coordinator Celebrating our students, alumni, staff and programs across all our communities 7


Tayla Coles First Year, Faculty of Medicine Presenting at Ngurra with Bill Buckley

Ben Denison First Year Faculty of Law Presenting at Ngurra with Bill Buckley

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“O week was amazing, made me so happy about my decision to come to UNSW. The semester hadn’t even started and already I was having the time of my life.” O-Week - the start of semester that every university student looks forward to. Whether it is the vast amount of parties, the social activities run both day and night or just the experience of being surrounded by many different people from all different kinds of backgrounds. O-Week for me was not just one of these things, but rather a mixture. Coming from a small rural community in North West NSW, I had no idea what to expect. In all honesty, it was like nothing I had ever seen before. There were thousands of people from the very start of the Uni walk all the way up to the very top. I think there were almost the same amount of people I have in my hometown of Moree. It was amazing. The feeling of being surrounded by all these people who were the same as me; who had the strive to learn and study just like me; who wanted more out of life and knew just how to achieve it. As I walked up the Uni walk, I was just overwhelmed with everything that was in my sight. The amount of societies and clubs I could join; the varieties of people and the different cultures they all came from. The “Yellow Shirts” quickly flocked towards me and my friends to see if we needed any help in finding our way around. They were more than accommodating and made us feel more at home in this new environment. The amount of activities that lay before me was unbelievable. I was able to wrestle my friends in a giant sumo suit, and then also wrestle with Phil the Frog. I participated in a Gangnam Style Dance workshop with my friends from Nura Gili. But the best thing by far was the amount of free things I received from all the different stalls located along my path. It was unbelievable the amount of pens I received. As well as books, rulers, bags, hats, folders and basically all the essential items I need to start University life. I loved listening to the different reactions of people as I walked past them throughout the week. They were saying things like “Oh My God!” and “I’ve never seen anything like this before”. I knew they were in the same boat as me because they were my initial reactions as well. This week was amazing and made me so happy within myself about my decision to come to UNSW. The semester hadn’t even started and already I was having the time of my life. It got me asking myself the question “If this was just O-Week, then what am I too expect throughout the year?”. The only thing that is on my mind currently, is that I can’t wait! Good luck to all the other Freshers out there. Remember have the time of your life and be who you want to be. Jake Fing, 1st Year Law Student

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L-R Katherine Watson Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences Monique Peachey Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences Jake Fing Faculty of Law

O week festivities on the QUAD, UNSW

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“I now do consider myself someone who knows a thing or two about Care and Protection law and I feel more inspired than ever to actually go out and make a difference to the relationship between Indigenous and non-Indigenous peoples in our country.” Jim Carrey once said that “life opens up opportunities to you, and you either take them or you stay afraid of taking them.” Now I admit that Mr. Carrey is probably one of the most mentally unstable Hollywood celebrities around, but I’ve always liked this quote and I think it encapsulates my attitude towards university, and life in general for that matter, pretty well. Last summer was certainly no exception for me. Yes, I can tell you’re just dying to hear what I got up to over the uni-break and who I worked for - you’re probably even thinking “but Corey, you have so much going for you, is there really anything else that you can possibly add to that amazing CV of yours?”; A perfectly valid question - but as it turns out, yes there was. You see I got an email shortly after I finished my exams from the Aboriginal Legal Service (ALS). They wanted two law students to intern with them throughout the holidays. I’ll be honest though, I was a little hesitant at first. I mean come on, I just finished the third year of my degree and I already committed to supervising the pre-programs. Oh, and I was also doing some part-time work for the George Institute thank you very much....... Ok ok I’ll admit it, I was pretty tempted to spend my break lazing around like many a uni-student before me. However, my inner Jim Carrey proved too strong and I simply couldn’t let this opportunity slip by. After giving an amazing interview, sorry, but it was pretty good, I got offered one of the internships. I was absolutely over the moon and the placement proved to be one of the best experiences of my life. Kyron McGrath, who I now consider a close friend of mine received the other placement. Alright I think it’s about time that I actually discussed what kind of work Kyron and I did. Firstly, for those of you who don’t know, the ALS is an organisation that gives free legal advice and representation to Indigenous peoples. In NSW the ALS has two departments one is the Crime department and the other is Care & Protection. My internship was with the latter and essentially the practice represents parents and children in child protection matters. It’s an area of law that I had very limited experience with, but I have to say this prospect actually excited me; I think it’s important to do things outside your comfort zone every now and again. The work proved to be quite challenging and I say this for a number of reasons. Our clients themselves all face a number of social issues, the most prominent being substance or alcohol abuse. It’s a sad reality that Aboriginal children make up close to 45% of children in out of home care. I found it difficult at times to listen to our clients describe their lives and how they ended up having their children taken off them. At the same time it allowed me to open my eyes up a little more and I came to realise that nothing in this area is so clear cut. It’s easy to read a client’s file and cast judgement, but when you actually take the time to talk to them you start asking bigger questions like “what happened in this person’s life that led them to this point?” Most often it turns out that our clients actually experienced a lot of trauma as children. This is not to say that they should escape responsibility for their actions, but I think it’s important that we focus more on the “why” question so we can create better policy in the future. Celebrating our students, alumni, staff and programs across all our communities 11

For the most part of my internship I took instructions from clients and liaised with the Department of Family and Community Services on their behalf. Often I would be asking for more contact hours between our clients and their children. However, the most important aspect of the ALS’ work is ensuring that the children are going to a culturally appropriate placement. Essentially this means advocating for the child to live with extended family or with an Indigenous foster carer in the community. I believe it’s incredibly important that all Aboriginal people are at least given the chance to learn about our culture - we simply must learn from past mistakes. In particular, I am alluding to the Stolen Generations. Overall, I loved working for the ALS. I got to do a lot of client-based work and this is a godsend to any Law student. I think we spend a bit too much time with our heads in text books not that I don’t love reading a few thousand pages on different areas of law every semester.. I also got to actually prepare submissions and cross examination for court, so I was very relieved that I wasn’t just pushing around paper-work and buying my boss coffees. I now do consider myself someone who knows a thing or two about Care and Protection law and I feel more inspired than ever to actually go out and make a difference to the relationship between Indigenous and non-Indigenous peoples in our country. Whilst we have a long way to go, I do believe we are getting there one step at a time. So thank you ALS for this opportunity and thank you Mr Carrey!! Corey Smith, Fourth year Law student .

Corey Smith Photo by Yale MacGillivray

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Southern Cross, Pointers, m and the Coalsack.

Look up tonight and you will see some of the most famous stars and constellations directly overhead. To the north-northeast, you will see the Seven Sisters star cluster, known to astronomers as the Pleiades. Moving to the right you will see the largest planet, Jupiter, then the horns of Taurus the bull, composed of a V-shape of stars in the cluster known as the Hyades. The end of one of those horns is a bright red star called Aldebaran. Look closely to the star further down on the horn and you can see it is actually two stars very close together. Further to the right, you can see Orion the hunter, with the Saucepan in the middle. Of course, Orion makes little sense in Australia, since he is standing on his head! Keep looking across that part of the sky towards the west and you’ll see the brightest star in the sky – Sirius, or the “dog star”. It is part of the constellation Canis Major, meaning Big Dog, who was the hunting dog of Orion. Turn and look to the south and you’ll see the Southern Cross upside down to the southeast flanked by the Pointers to the south. The brighter of the two Pointer stars, the one furthest from the Southern Cross, is the closest star to our solar system – Alpha Centauri. It is actually a triple star system. One of the stars was recently found to have an earth-sized planet, but it is too close to its star to harbor life. You can also look high in the southwestern sky and see the Magellanic Clouds, two dwarf galaxies orbiting our own Milky Way galaxy that were named after the famous Portuguese explorer, Ferdinand Magellan. These are the things I normally tell people about when giving a tour of the sky. But there is something missing with this explanation - something that makes sense here in Australia.

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Why discuss Orion, Taurus, and Canis Major if they are all upside down?! What do stories from a far away land have to do with local traditions? Indigenous Australians have been making sense of the stars for tens of thousands of years. They served as a map in the sky. They told people when the seasons were changing, when it was time to move camp, when new food sources were ready, and when animals would start rearing their young. It also served as a textbook for laws, customs, and traditions. Like the ancient Greeks and Romans, the stars told about deities and culture heroes, of battles and romances, of relationships and betrayals, of ceremonies and taboos. Dreaming stories explained how the moon controlled ocean tides, described the causes of eclipses, and told why the sun rose and set at different places on the horizon at different times of the year. These stories were passed down through generation after generation for eons. This is the second realm to which I take people on a tour of the sky: the world of Australian Indigenous astronomy. Because many things in the sky visible from Australia are not visible from many places in the northern hemisphere, such as the Southern Cross, Pointers, the False Cross, or the Magellanic Clouds, many of the Indigenous sky stories are unique to Australia. But some uncanny similarities exist. For example, most cultures in the world associate the Pleiades with a group of women, usually sisters, which are seven in number. And the stars that make up the Greek constellation of Orion are often seen as a man or group of men, many times hunters,that chase the women across the sky. The reason for this is unknown. The Aboriginal constellation of the Emu is not traced out by stars, but by the dark spaces within the Milky Way. The head of the emu is the Coalsack nebula by the Southern Cross. The neck extends through the Pointers and the body of the emu is seen as the middle of the Milky Way galaxy – called the galactic bulge. When the celestial emu rises above the horizon in the early autumn skies, the emus on earth begin building their nests. As the emu is high in the sky in the evening, the emus are laying their eggs. What you might not expect is that this view is not unique to Australia! In northern Bolivia, the Indigenous people see this shape as that of an ostrich – a flightless bird very similar to an emu. In Peru, it is seen as a llama. By understanding how Indigenous people perceive and use the sky, we can better understand astronomy in a local context. We can also see how oral cultures made sense of the natural world and passed down complex scientific knowledge through story, song, art, and dance. Much of this knowledge, such as navigation, still has a practical use today. Astronomy is also a great way to generate public interest and has proven successful in helping non-Indigenous people learn more about, and develop a greater appreciation for, Indigenous culture. Research at the Nura Gili Indigenous Centre at the University of New South Wales seeks to learn more about the role of astronomy in Aboriginal cultures of Australia. Future work will also investigate astronomy in the Torres Strait, which was a very significant aspect of Islander culture. A wealth of new information is emerging from this research. If you would like to learn more, visit the Aboriginal Astronomy Blog: Dr Duane Hamacher, Lecturer – UNSW, Astronomy Educator – Sydney Observatory

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Drawing by Paul Curnow and Gail Glasper

Dr Duane Hamacher, Lecturer –Nura Gili, UNSW. Astronomy Educator, Sydney Observatory

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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.’ 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. The expos are great as we have the opportunity to speak to many people in the one location. Our ‘Light and Fire’ presentations were initiated in 2011 to share, build and strengthen the knowledge of university study options to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander high school and TAFE students. The presentation involves a series of interactive activities that are designed to showcase UNSW, Nura Gili and the programs we have on offer. Students work together in a team environment that are based around making decisions about their future that will allow them to reach for their dreams. Students also hear stories from current UNSW Indigenous students about their journey before and during university. Hopefully, this encourages students to think about tertiary studies as one of their many career options. As Nura Gili’s Student Recruitment Officer and a Bundjalung woman from Lismore in Northern NSW I’ve always believed that education has the power to change people’s lives. Our aim by conducting our presentations and attending careers expos is that we inspire, empower and motivate our future Indigenous Australian leaders to consider university studies after high school and TAFE. 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.’ Nura Gili invites schools, TAFEs, individuals and organisations to visit our Kensington campus where we conduct our presentation with you which includes a tour of the UNSW campus. Visiting our amazing campus will provide you with a great opportunity to learn firsthand more about Nura Gili’s programs, entry pathways and what you can study with us If you have a careers expo you would like us to have a stall at or your school, TAFE or organisation would like us to visit you or you would like to visit us here on campus please send us an email at give us a call on 02 9385 3805. We welcome your enquires! Leearna Williams Student Recruitment Officer

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Sunday 7th July to Saturday 13th July 2013 “Winter school changes lives! Every year we hear from students and teachers about how Winter School has given them the confidence to choose university as an option. Winter School let’s Indigenous high school students know they deserve a tertiary education just as much as any other student and that university is an option for them. Our program has been running since 2002 and has grown significantly in that time. The week long residential program is a great opportunity for Indigenous high school students in years 10,11 and 12 to experience firsthand about life as a student at UNSW. Our program attracts many applicants – we received over 300 applicants last year and unfortunately we can only offer 150 places. We encourage you to take your time in completing all the aspects of your application and get your application to us well before the deadline - 5pm, Friday 12 April 2013. Below are some tips to assist you in your application. We look forward to reading your application!” Cheryl Ah-See Nura Gili Winter School Coordinator 

Read through the application form before you begin –the form is available on our website;

Tell us your answers in detail- remember it is very competitive so we need to know as much as possible about you, what motivates you, what you are studying, involved with and interested in – at school, at home and in the community

If you have any questions about the application form and process give us a call at Nura Gili on (02) 9385 1559 or email us at:

Make sure every section of the application form is filled in and signed, including by yourself, your parent and your school principal

When you have finished writing your application form, get someone else to read through it and give you some feedback. This could be your teacher, someone in your family and/or someone in your community

Make sure you go through the checklist at the end of the application form to ensure you have completed every section and have included all the attachments required so we can consider your application.

The best way to send your application form is via email- if you are going to send it through the post make sure you post it at least 3 days before the deadline

Nura Gili staff do not chase up incomplete application forms however we do encourage you to call us to check your application has been received and everything is completed.

Send your application in as soon as you can and definitely by the deadline :

Remember the application deadline is 5pm on Friday 12 April 2013


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Winter School Participants 2012

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An interview with Lizelle Leclair, one of Nura Gili’s Academic Support Officers. Where are you from? I was born in Mauritius and migrated to Australia in 1969 with my family: mum, dad, two brothers and one sister. Mauritius is an island off the east coast of Africa and is the biggest island in an archipelago of islands which also includes Reunion and Seychelles. The main languages spoken are French and Creole. Tell us a little bit about your current role – I first started working in Nura Gili a year agoMarch 2012. I assist the students from all faculties with their academic learning and support them in pastoral care. I am a friend, an advisor, a tutor and a mentor. My aim is to give students the tools to manipulate academic information in order to address an assignment question or essay and discuss them in depth. What are some of the challenges you’ve come across for our students? Challenges often include financial challenges. Also many of our students come from country areas or interstate and miss their families’ support. Another challenge is the transition from highschool education to academic learning which can be frustrating for them to adapt to. What are your top 5 tips for new students starting their academic studies? 1. 2. 3. 4.

Motivation is a key factor for you to success at uni. Stay focused on your studies studies Make friends in your faculties and Nura Gili Be proactive to get support from your faculty, the UNSW Learning Centre, the Hub and of course here with us at Nura Gili. 5. Make Nura Gili your transition family to help and support you in your time of need. What are some of your highlights working at Nura Gili? 1. 2. 3. 4. 5.

My colleagues: Nura Gili staff - their diligence in helping and supporting the students Our students in overcoming their obstacles and succeeding in their learning The bonds that we form with our students Having a joke with our students Being in the position to assist our students in achieving their goals

Can you share some of your experiences before you began working at Nura Gili? My educational background is as a high school teacher and a vocational teacher. My undergraduate degree is in Vocational Education. My postgraduate certificate degree is in ESL teaching –English as a Second Language, and my Masters’ Degree is in Education. I have worked in both the public school and private school system, including Liverpool Boys High School and Newington College.

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As a Vocational Education teacher I worked at Moreton Bay TAFE in Alexandra Hills, Queensland. In conjunction with Centrelink, I have also worked at an ESL teacher teaching English to migrants to encourage them to immerse easily in Australian culture. Remembering back to when you were a university student- what is one of your fondest memories? My fondest memory is walking up to the podium to receive my degree. It was the proudest moment of my life as it reflected my hard work and dedication to attain this goal. I also had the opportunity to meet liberal thinkers who encouraged us as students to see things from ‘outside the box’ and challenge ‘the norm’ through discussion. University opened my eyes to see things in a different way and to use various skills to support my views on issues. Are there any mentors or educational role models that stand out for you? One of my mentors was my Vocational Educational teacher on my first prac at TAFE. I was very uncertain and unsure of my capabilities in achieving my goal and obtaining a degree and she was always available to alleviate any of my self-doubts. Another role model was my Lecturer in my first Semester at University. After I failed my first essay, I contacted her and told her that I didn’t think that I was meant for University. She went out of her way to meet me once every week to go over my essay writing skills and assist me in my academic learning. My main mentors and role models were my parents who encouraged me to “stick” to my studies and supported me in my decision to study at university. How do you think our new location, Balnaves Place home of Nura Gili, will impact on the services we provide to our students? Our new location is ideal for our students as it is centrally located on campus, a relaxed learning area and students from all faculties can access Nura Gili staff to gain the support they need. Twenty-four hours access is an added bonus especially during exam times and when assignments are due. Nura Gili is a place to come to, study and ‘chill out’ with your family – a place where you are comfortable – a place away from home. Interview with Rebecca Harcourt

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

Current Students Welcome to session BBQ

14 March

Nura Gili Student Ambassador Interviews

19 March

Nura Gil Student Ambassador Workshop

22 March

Mid Semester Break

29 March- 8 April

Exams commence

14 June

End of Semester 1


Semester 2 begins

1 August

Mid Semester Break

28 September - 4October

Exams commence

8 November

End of Semester

26 November

Nura Gili on the Road- Light & Fire Presentations Roadshow 2 Nowra, Wollongong Campbelldown

11-13 March

Gorokan High School

18 March

Roadshow 3 Muswellbrook, Maitland, Newcastle and

25-28 March

Woy Woy Careers Expo South West Sydney Aboriginal Careers and Community Open Day

20 March

Year 12 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander info day @ UNSW

24 July

UNSW Indigenous Winter School

7-14 July

Applications now open Applications close UNSW Indigenous Spring Forum

5pm, 12 April 4-6 September

Applications open

6 May

Applications close

3 August

UNSW Indigenous Pre Programs - UNSW Indigenous Pre Programs in Business, Law, Medicine and Social Work take place over 3-4 weeks each year in November and December and participants need to attend the entire program. 2013 dates are still to be confirmed. Celebrating our students, alumni, staff and programs across all our communities 21

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

Nura Gili News Edition 2 March 2013  

This month’s issue of Nura Gili News reflects this vibrancy from the warm welcome from our Director Professor Martin Nakata, the enthusiasm...

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