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Yalbalinga students arrive at Strathfield

More than 100 Indigenous students from around the country arrived at Australian Catholic University’s (ACU) Strathfield Campus recently for their residential week.

Completing either an associate degree, or a bachelor’s degree in education, the students live and work in their own communities, and come to Sydney four weeks a year for face to face lectures.

Chris Richardson is in his third year of the Bachelor of Teaching/Bachelor of Arts, and works with Indigenous children in Alice Springs to help them secure traineeships and university places.

Chris RichardsonChris Richardson

“I strongly believe that education is the key to empowerment, and I find it extremely rewarding to learn,” he said.

“I like to think that down the track I’ll be able to make a difference to Aboriginal kids in my community and lead by example. I mean if they look at me and see that I can do it, then so can they.”

Narrandera resident Samantha Williams is completing a Bachelor of Education (Primary), and said the existence of the residential component of the program was essential in allowing her to study.

Samantha WilliamsSamantha Williams

“I actually began a course at another university, but travelling there and back every day became too much to juggle with my work and family obligations,” the 22-year-old said.

“Coming to Sydney for the residential program for four weeks a year is much easier for me, and I’ve made friends for life from all around Australia.”