Indigenous Student Awards Announced.

Indigenous Academics, students and staff came together to celebrate Indigenous student success at the Indigenous Student Awards night in October. The picture which was painted by the awards is a diverse Indigenous student community who are engaging deeply and successfully as writers, artists, community members, leaders, sportspeople, academics and ambassadors for both Murrup Barak and The University of Melbourne.

Staff and Students at the Awards Night

The individual award winners are listed below:

Fine Arts/ Performing Award.

Winner: Sam Harrison

Sam Harrison is from Bachelor of Fine Art Visual Art Painting. For his curating and organising the "How many dots, make a dot painting", exhibited in the Victorian college of the art (VCA) student gallery from the 5th till 9th of September. Which included around thirty students and staff from the VCA from both indigenous and other cultural heritage. The exhibition was in response to the Northern Territory youth detention on Four Corners. Sam is also participating in the Willin Warriors mentoring program.

Literary Scholar Award.

Winner: Serena Thompson

Serena made several contributions to Under Bunjil over the past year whilst also being an editor and will be taking over as head editor next semester. From 2017 she will be taking on the role of head-editor of Under Bunjil. Serena's attention to detail and ability to move between writing styles and mediums has made her a valued member of the team

"The poem that I submitted for last semester's edition is to be included in Marnie O'Bryan's thesis which is based on Indigenous students in tertiary education and also by Aunty Steph Armstrong and Denise Shillinglaw, who are co-writing a book on 2-way learning. I am also in the process of getting published in The Age"

Caring for Community Award.

Winner: Douglas Briggs

Douglas has demonstrated a desire to actively give back to the community. Whether it is within his college, at the University or in the work that he is doing for wider community, he continues to proactively seek out ways to contribute to everything he is involved in. Throughout 2016 Dougie positively encouraging and looking after his peers in his role as Social Captain at the Indigenous University Games, often volunteering to help before being asked. In addition to helping with activities run by the UMSU Indigenous department, Dougie has been working with the Koori Youth Council to create change for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Youth. This role has seen him interview Adam Goodes during the Koori Youth Summit and being part of planning around the debates for a Treaty that have been overshadowed by Constitutional Recognition.

Leadership Award.

Winner: Tyson Holloway-Clarke

Tyson's leadership within the Melbourne Uni community is unquestionable. Not only has he paved the way for Indigenous Students in years to come, but he has actively worked with other students and management to create effective change and a safe place for students where there has not always been one. In his work for UMSU Tyson has changed how the department interacts with students by securing funding and creating opportunities for students to participate and represent in different activities, all while he was establishing a ticket to represent Indigenous students. Tyson does not shy away for standing up for what is best for students and it is no surprise that he is currently serving as the UMSU President and is the Student Representative-Elect for University Council.

Sportsperson Award.

Male Winner: Neerim Callope

Deserving winner not only due to his accolades that he has achieved this year alone but also through his great sportsmanship and leadership on and off the sports field. His sporting achievements this year were: - Indig Games Overall Male MVP 2016. - Uni Melb Touch Team. - Uni Blacks Touch Team, State League. - Member of the Victorian State Touch Football Team. - Trinity College v Ormond College Rugby Match, Best Player Award. - Trinity College Rugby Captain 2017 - Trinity College Volleyball Team - Trinity College Volleyball Captain 2018 - selected to play curtain raiser for NRL's Storm game, at AAMI park.

Female Winner: Verhonda Smith

Bonnie's contributions to sport and the greater community are hard to match. When I first met her in 2014 for the Indigenous University Games Bonnie was one the kindest, most encouraging, talented and fun people to be around. While she excelled socially off-field she dominated on-field. In 2015 Bonnie was the Female MVP for Netball at Indig Uni Games and followed this up in 2016 after being named the Female MVP for both Volleyball and Basketball. In addition to this, Bonnie not only lead the Netball team as captain for a number of years (in which she leaves some massive shoes to fill), she has been key to the success of games having been heavily involved since Melbourne Uni began participating. Beyond University, Bonnie has achieved countless victories for her Netball Career. And while sport is not just about winning, the fact that many will truly miss Bonnie when she moves on to other endeavors after University is testament to the type of sportsmanship that she never fails to display; a type of sportsmanship that lingers long after playing time has ended; a type of sportsmanship of a natural leader. Bonnie truly encompasses everything that that it means to be considered for the Sportsperson Award.

Advancement Award.

Male Winner: Zane McMillan

The individual who is receiving the award  is a first year student who has grown tremendously throughout his time at The University of Melbourne. Zane has not only grown as a University student but has grown through his cultural knowledge. He has completed the Wiradjuri language course to get a deeper knowledge and understanding of his traditional language also learning to play the Didgeridoo. These things have encouraged him to become more involved within the community and Indigenous university student cohort. He stand strong and speaks with confidence and Zane has become a very proud man on his cultural journey.

Female Winner: Kassie McLear

Kassie has participated in a number of Murrup Barak events such as the Transition in Camp, Experience camp and also the Open Day camp. She has been a major player in making sure that these were run as smooth as possible. Being part of these events has seen her mature and grow as a true leader amongst the Indigenous students of the University of Melbourne. Kassie has volunteered her time to be a part of the Prison program, where she help educate inmates to read and write. Kassie has become a tutor for a number of Bachelor of Arts student for semester 2. She a dedicated ITAS tutor who really wants to see her students succeed. Kassie has been offered a spot to complete her law degree at the University Melbourne for 2017 and will become one of the first Indigenous student through the new Indigenous law Program.

Overall Kassie has been a real role model for students and her dedication to her study is been a real stand out in 2016. We have seen Kassie grow from strength to strength not only as an Indigenous student but as a strong Aboriginal Women.

Murrup Barak Ambassador Award.

Male Winner: Paul Payne.

Paul rises to any opportunity that comes his way. For a first year student he has engaged with Mururp Barak on a variety of levels. He utilises all the services that  Mururp Barak provides, attends all the programs, Men’s groups and dinners that are held without hesitations. Not only does he engage with Murrap Barak and fellow Indigenous students, he gets involved with future students.

He has been an inspiring mentor  on various Murrup Barak camps that were held during the 2016. Paul’s amazing ability to step up by providing advice and knowledge to potential incoming Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students is highly valued by Murrup Barak.

Female Winner: Alexandra Hohoi

Alex  is a very engaged student and is proud of her institution. Alex has passion for her local community, culture and fellow Indigenous students. Alex is a person who we would consider a great spokesperson for Murrup Barak and also for the University of Melbourne: from displaying tremendous team spirit at the Indigenous University Games to helping young people apply to the University of Melbourne.

Academic Excellence Award- Undergraduate.

Academic Excellence Award is based on an individual's overall average mark. The calculation is based from semester 1 2016. The  individual exhibits dedication for excelling academically on their University studies. The award winner has the HIGHEST overall marks doing an undergraduate degree.

Winner: Tristan Harwood

Tristan Harwood is studying Bachelors of Arts.

Academic Excellence Award– Postgradute.

Academic Excellence Award is based on an individual's overall average mark. The calculation is based from semester 1 2016.  The individual exhibits dedication for excelling academically on their University studies. The award winner has the HIGHEST overall marks doing a post- graduate degree.

Winner: Natalie Ironfield

Natalie Ironfield is studying a Masters Public Health.

More Information

Kirsten Bonds kirsten.bonds@unimelb.edu.au