Seven Indigenous students have been awarded nearly $800,000 in recognition of their outstanding academic achievements and commitment to continuing to give back to their communities.
The scholarships, offered by The Aurora Education Foundation (Aurora), are the largest ever since the organisation’s inception in 2006. The scholarships have been driven by a surge in Indigenous students who are interested in pursuing international study and the generosity of the Charlie Perkins Scholarship and the Roberta Sykes Scholarships, which are delivered through Aurora.
This year’s cohort includes one Charlie Perkins Scholar and six Roberta Sykes Scholars, who will journey to the likes of Oxford, Cambridge and Harvard universities to pursue their educational and career aspirations.
Aurora builds a pipeline of Indigenous scholars through its International Study Tour – a fully funded, multi-week academic visits to the top universities in the United Kingdom and United States. The Study Tour is designed for students who are committed to their educational and professional journey, with Aurora supporting students from the moment they verbalise their aspirations to their graduation from University.
Ninety-four per cent of students who apply from the Aurora Study Tour are accepted at these top universities, and four of the seven students to be awarded scholarships this year participated in Aurora’s Study Tour.
This year’s scholars include:
Dunghutti Gumbaynggirr woman and Charlie Perkins Scholar, Teresa Cochrane
Teresa has recently completed a Bachelor of Environmental Science and Management (Honours) at Charles Sturt University. Teresa currently works at the CSIRO in the Young Indigenous Women’s STEM academy as an academic co-ordinator. This year she will move to the UK where she will study a Master of Philosophy in Biodiversity, Conservation and Management at Oxford University.
Nyiyaparli woman and Roberta Sykes Scholar, Karri Walker
Karri Walker graduated from a Bachelor of Arts at Melbourne University in 2015, before completing her Juris Doctor at Melbourne Law School in 2018. Since then, Karri has worked in the legal sector and most recently works as a Senior Lawyer at the First Peoples’ Assembly of Victoria. She will go on to study a Master of Laws at Harvard University later this year.
Darumbal woman and Roberta Sykes Scholar, Mi-kaisha Masella
Mi-kaisha is a current New York University student and is in her final year studying a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Recorded Music at the Clive Davis Institute of Recorded Music. Mi-kaisha has a background of working in music at both the ABC and AIME, she hopes to support the continuation of First Nations arts industries through her work.
Gija woman and Roberts Sykes Scholar, Naarah Barnes
Naarah graduated with a Bachelor of Music majoring in Voice from The University of Tasmania in 2019. Since then, she has gained extensive experience in the entertainment industry with a focus on musical theatre. With this scholarship, Naarah has her eyes set on a Master of Music Theatre at the Royal Academy of Music in the UK.
Anaiwan man and Roberta Sykes Scholar, Nicholas Harvey-Doyle
Nicholas is a student at New York University where he intends to use this scholarship, he is studying a Master of Arts in Media, Culture and Communication. Prior to this Nicholas completed a Bachelor of Arts/Bachelor of Laws at the University of Newcastle. Through his study Nicholas would like to identify barriers to achieving diverse representation in media.
Bundjalung, Gumbsaynggirr man and Roberta Sykes Scholar, Dakota Feirer
In 2020 Dakota completed a Bachelor of Communication and Media Studies at the University of Wollongong. Since then, he has been working at the Powerhouse Museum in Sydney as Program Producer. Dakota will study a Master of Arts (Museum Studies) at New York University.
Anaiwan man and Roberta Sykes Scholar, Connor Haddad
Connor completed a Bachelor of Communication (Honours) at The University of Queensland in 2019. For the last three years he has been working in Public Policy and has developed a passion for youth justice. Connor will study a Master of Public Administration in Public Policy and Public Value at University College London.