I lived in West Arnhem land as a child, growing up near my grandfather’s outstation and the experiences living out bush natured in me a deep love for creation. That’s why I decided to pursue tertiary education to enable others to take me seriously in working with Aboriginal peoples and communities – to manage and protect land and water resources.
At university I have noticed in all my environmental science courses there are only a few Aboriginal students, and perhaps even fewer Aboriginal academics in the fields of science. It’s surprising, because our connection to Country (land, sky, water) is integral to Aboriginal cultures and languages. Thankfully, I have felt well supported in my studies at university to persist and soon graduate. Burgmann College made up of alumni, current residents, donors and staff are included in this group!
The New Beginnings bursary directly helped me complete a Bachelor of Science (Honours) at ANU.
Assistance from the college made it possible for me to relocate temporarily from Darwin. The kindness shown to me before I even arrived was so comforting. The support I received made sure that I didn’t need to worry about where I would sleep or what I would eat.
I am appreciative for all that the College and its staff did in caring for my needs. Reducing my stress and worries made it easier for me to focus on completing my Honours research and writing the thesis in order to graduate.
Hmalan Hunter-Xénié (2019-2020)
New Beginnings Bursary Recipient