On Wednesday 22 August 2018, six Indigenous Australians will receive scholarships totalling more than $500,000 to pursue postgraduate study at four of the world’s leading universities: Cambridge, London School of Economics, the Royal College of Art and Oxford.
British High Commissioner to Australia, Her Excellency Menna Rawlings CMG, will present the 2018 Charlie Perkins and Roberta Sykes Scholarships in Canberra, alongside Richard Potok, CEO of the Aurora Education Foundation, and Executive Director of both the Charlie Perkins Scholarship Trust and the Roberta Sykes Indigenous Education Foundation.
“Seven years ago, there had never been an Indigenous Australian studying for a full-time degree at either Oxford or Cambridge universities,” explains Richard Potok. “Now, thanks to the Charlie Perkins and Roberta Sykes Scholarships, with the ongoing support of the Australian and British governments, there have been 40 Indigenous postgraduates accepted to Oxford and Cambridge. This includes three of this year’s recipients, all accepted on the basis of academic merit. We are also delighted to continue in our partnership with London School of Economics this year. We are incredibly proud of this year’s recipients, whose hard work and dedication to academic excellence is a testament to the pioneering founders of these Scholarships.”
Four of the six 2018 Scholarship winners were participants on Aurora’s Indigenous Scholars International Study Tour, which provides high achieving Indigenous students the opportunity to gain insight into the experience of undertaking postgraduate study at premier institutions abroad and generates a natural pipeline of potential scholarship applicants.
The Scholarships are designed to support Indigenous Australians who have the potential to become leaders in their field of study and in their communities, and are awarded on the basis of academic merit. This year's Scholarships are jointly supported by the Australian Government, the British Government through the Chevening program, the Cambridge Commonwealth, European & International Trust and Cambridge Australia Scholarships.
Casey will undertake a MPhil in Public Policy at St Edmund’s College, Cambridge. A Kalkadoon woman from North West Queensland, Casey graduated from Australian National University with a Master of Management in 2017, and a Bachelor of Business from University of Southern Queensland in 2012. Casey is currently a Director in the Office for Women developing the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet’s new Reconciliation Action Plan in Canberra. For the past 15 years, Casey has worked in the Indigenous Affairs portfolio in both the public, university and community sectors. Casey was an Aurora Scholar on the 2016 Aurora Indigenous Scholars International Study Tour.
Geoffrey will undertake a Master of Public Policy at Balliol College, Oxford. A Walgett man from Richmond, NSW, Geoffrey graduated from the University of Sydney with a combined Bachelor of Arts (Honours)/Law in 2015. Geoffrey is currently a director at Chalk & Behrendt, Lawyers and Consultants, as well as a council member for the Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies Foundation and board member for the NSW Justice Health & Forensic Mental Health Network. He aspires to serve the community through an active career in public policy and politics. Geoffrey was an Aurora Scholar on the 2017 Aurora Indigenous Scholars International Study Tour.