The first North-West graduates of a unique pathway program have been recognised for their achievements at Cradle Coast campus.
In June, three students were congratulated for completing murina during an end of semester gathering.
murina provides an alternative pathway for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people to enter higher education at the University of Tasmania.
It aims to support students in developing the skills and confidence they need to commence further study.
Riawunna Aboriginal Student Success Officer Caleb Nichols-Mansell said murina provided a tailored approach to help students reach their goals.
“The aim of murina is to enable Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people to engage with the University and higher education in an environment that is culturally supportive and safe,” Mr Nichols-Mansell said.
“The program is attracting people who would have otherwise never engaged with higher education and this has a flow-on effect within the community.
“The End-of-Semester Celebration was a real milestone for us at Riawunna, the Tasmanian Aboriginal community, and the University.
“It proves what we already know - and that is Aboriginal excellence can be achieved when the right supports are in place.
“Our students who have successfully completed the program now have the skills and knowledge necessary to begin their undergraduate studies, but more importantly, the self-confidence and belief in themselves that is essential in being a successful student.”
One student who had previously completed a Bachelor of Social Work enrolled in the program to re-engage with the community, and build her confidence after some time away from study.
Having now graduated from murina, Joanne Kennedy is looking at a Master of Research and hopes to begin this by 2020.
“It has been fantastic to re-engage with community in a safe and supportive environment. We all have so much to offer and share with each other,” Joanna said.
Riawunna Aboriginal Community Engagement Officer Brendan Murray who is based at Cradle Coast campus was among the graduating cohort.
He made the decision to enrol to enhance his work, and inspire his children and the community to consider university studies.
“By undertaking the murina Enabling Program I gained the necessary academic and study skills that have equipped me to go on to further my educational journey,” Mr Murray said.
“I also wanted to inspire other Aboriginal community members to consider furthering their education via university studies at Cradle Coast campus.
“I totally enjoyed doing the program and would recommend murina to Aboriginal people.”
murina units focus on culture, history, storytelling, creative arts, and academic and study skills, via in-class activities and 'on country' field trips, all within a Tasmanian Aboriginal framework.
Currently, the course is made up of four core units, two of which are weighted at 25 credit points.
Upon completion of these core units, students can then enrol in pakana Life Writing which explores creative writing, storytelling, self-expression and identity.
This allows students to build on their written communication skills and explore their cultural identity.
The students were presented with certificates of completion as part of the formal ceremony on Wednesday, 5 June.