The Nura Gili Spring Forum, a program designed to inform older students about university, has provided the opportunity for 18 TAFE and mature-age Indigenous students to consider kick-starting their careers.
The three-day intensive residential program provides the opportunity for Indigenous people planning to attend University to consider courses in Business, Medicine, Education, Indigenous Studies, Law and Media and
Participants traveled from across NSW, Queensland and WA to attend the forum, which is tailored to address each participant's professional, community and educational experiences.
Information about study demands, scholarships, enabling pathways, undergraduate and postgraduate options, and accommodation was
covered in the workshops.
Delilah McGillivray, 53, from Rockhampton was inspired to attend the forum when her two daughters enrolled at UNSW after completing the Nura Gili Winter School, an annual one-week residential program for Indigenous high school students that attracts participants from all over Australia.
McGillivray said Nura Gili had offered invaluable advice and support to her daughters, Peta, a recent Law graduate and Yale, a Creative Arts student.
"I can't fault Nura Gili, they made me feel comfortable about leaving my girls in Sydney and I know that I'll receive the same support when I come to study at UNSW," she said.
McGillivray sees the Spring Forum as the first step in a career change after completing a BA majoring in sociology and psychology at ANU and working as a public servant for over 30 years.
"I want to utilise the professional experience I have by completing an MBA, it would be a shame not to build on that knowledge," she said.
UNSW facilitator Rebecca Harcourt said tertiary education provides an opportunity for Indigenous people to share their knowledge.
"University gives non Indigenous people the chance to engage and learn from Indigenous people in true dialogue across many disciplines."
UNSW has committed to increasing Indigenous enrolments to 500 in the next five years. More than 200 Indigenous students are currently enrolled at UNSW - many have been assisted by the pre-programs and pathways offered by Nura Gili.
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