Elders, Uncle and Aunty, Sista and Brotha, a university education is available to us and within our reach. Our mob and our country need more of us to go to university so that our history and our ways won’t be lost and buried in White Man history. Time for us to stand proud and strong and support each other to go to university and become something our country and community will be proud of.
University isn’t just for those with white skin, but for us all. Some people within our own community, our own mob, will tell you education is a waste of time and will lead to nothing but heartache. I am here to say they are wrong.
It is because I had a degree that I landed a job overseas in Japan, teaching English to Japanese middle school children. I spent over 3 years living overseas, learning about a different culture to the one I grew up in, which I wouldn't have been able to do without my degree.
I am now onto my second degree at university, this time at USQ. I chose to study at USQ this time around because:
Quite simply, USQ was my only choice. It has a great online component as well as fantastic on-campus lessons and excellent teaching staff. I also met fellow Indigenous students who were working towards their degree in many different areas. The College for Indigenous Studies, Education and Research is a great place where you meet others in the USB mob, make friends and there are tutors around to help you do well in your studies. Murri Meet-Up is a deadly program to learn from other students and there are chill out areas in the courtyard and common room where you can have a yarn with other students.
USQ ticked all the boxes for me. I am now doing a course that I love, have met wonderful people and got to learn more about our country. I have found many Sistas and Brothas here, too. The old saying of being seen and not heard is long gone here at university. If you have something to say, then say it and debate it. Like many people about the place, there is ignorance as they haven’t heard the truth about Indigenous culture. But at USQ, they’re making an active attempt to do the right thing for Indigenous Australians and our future children.
Education is for all and is not just limited to those with an OP score. If you didn’t have an OP score when you finished school, USQ has an alternative one-year entry program that can help you gain entry into the course you want to pursue, called Indigenous Higher Education Pathways Program or IHEPP.
USQ flies our flags high and continue to share the importance of our Elders and helping our mob as well as watching us succeed in becoming deadly graduates when the time comes. Not many universities can hold their head up high and say they are trying to make Indigenous students feel included in all aspects of university life.
If you want to come to university or want to learn more about uni study, get in touch with the team at CISER and find out what it means to be an Indigenous student at USQ.