Four Aboriginal students, Michael Brogan, Amy Hammond, Victor Briggs and Robert Waters, have each received a full postgraduate scholarship funded by the University of New England to assist them to further their studies in Creative Practice in the School of Arts.
The ATSI Creative Practice Scholars Program emphasises UNE’s commitment to enhancing access and support to further study for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students and has been more than a year in the making.
Head of School of Arts, Associate Professor Alan Davison, said the School has been working closely with the University’s Research Services to secure the scholarships and look forward to working with the students over the next three years.
“As the School has a distinctive creative practice research profile within the University, it is only natural that we are using this as a vehicle to develop deep links and knowledge-sharing with Indigenous scholars,” A/Prof Davison said.
“We are looking forward to the vibrant cultural enrichment that will occur, and for the opportunity take a strong stance on the importance of the Arts in current discussions around knowledge and culture.”
The scholarship will allow local poet and Aboriginal storyteller, Rob Waters, to dedicate himself full-time to his studies.
“I wasn’t sure that I would even be in a chance of being awarded the scholarship so when I was, it came as a bit of a shock,” Mr Waters said.
“In saying that I am honoured to be part of this group of amazing people; the research that has been proposed by the others in this cohort is extremely exciting and personally I am thankful that I can be part of that.”
Mr Waters’ area of interest is in the Arts, specifically poetry and narrative methodology, and his studies will entail a cross cultural examination of the methodological/pedagogical frameworks utilised in the transfer of knowledge and culture in a traditional Aboriginal context.
“It will also examine the idea of indigenising academia, so continuing the work that is being done bringing that wealth of knowledge into the academic sphere.”
The Creative Practice Scholarships will officially be announced at a research launch on Tuesday 8 December 2015.