Indigenous students look ahead at graduate study options


During the first week of July, the Faculty hosted 14 Indigenous undergraduate students from across the country as part of the recently established Ngurra-Jarradjak (Healthy) Indigenous Graduate Study Options Program.

The initiative delivers on one of the action items identified in the Faculty’s Indigenous Development strategy – to develop a ‘gateway’ program to prepare undergraduate students for graduate coursework into the health and biomedical sciences, as outlined in the Beyond 2018 Strategic Plan.

The program complements and builds on the success of the Melbourne Poche Centre’s Indigenous PhD Familiarisation Program, which is on track to achieve the target of 20 new Indigenous PhD enrolments by the year 2020.

The students stayed at Trinity College, visited various institutions across the Melbourne Biomedical Precinct – including the Victorian Aboriginal Health Service, St Vincent’s Hospital, and the Doherty and Walter and Eliza Hall Institutes – and heard from a breadth of speakers including Professors Sandra Eades and Marcia Langton AM.

The value of the program for students was reflected in their feedback. As second-year Bachelor of Science student Harrison Burgin wrote: ‘The program has really opened my eyes to the diversity of post-graduate degrees as well as job opportunities available to me. It was also heartening to meet so many like-minded peers and Indigenous professionals and academics in the health fields.’