A postgraduate student who came to The University of Western Australia as part of an Aboriginal Orientation Course in 2001 has been named this year’s NAIDOC (National Aboriginal and Islander Day Observance Committee) Scholar of the Year for Western Australia.
Dr Daniel Hunt’s achievement comes as NAIDOC Week (3-10 July) is celebrated throughout Australia this week.
Vice-Chancellor Professor Paul Johnson described Dr Hunt as “an inspiration to all students” and a credit to UWA’s School of Indigenous Studies (SIS) and the Centre for Aboriginal Medicine and Dental Health (CAMDH).
“The University has one of the best success rates nationally for encouraging Indigenous students to undertake and complete Medicine, Dentistry and Health Science, which is due in no small part to the comprehensive recruitment and support programs run by SIS and CAMDH”, Professor Johnson said.
After graduating from Medicine with an Aboriginal Health specialisation in 2011, Dr Hunt decided he wanted to become an oral maxillofacial surgeon and this year will complete UWA’s four year postgraduate dental course allowing him to do that.
Also celebrating are five Indigenous students from UWA who are taking part in the first Matariki Indigenous Student Mobility Program at the University of Otago in Dunedin in July.
The Matariki Network of Universities (MNU) is a select international alliance of seven leading research-led universities who share a commitment to excellence in research, scholarship, education and community engagement.
Kirsty McLean, Winston Green, Douglas Nelson, Rickeeta Walley and Horace Hill from UWA travelled to New Zealand with Associate Professor Grant Revell and Albany student Paula Foenander to take part in the Indigenous Exchange, designed to give students and staff the opportunity to further develop an area of research or study.
Meanwhile four UWA students and one graduate have taken part in this year’s Miss NAIDOC, a six week intensive Leadership and Empowerment Program designed to unite Indigenous women in celebrating their heritage.
Arts graduate Angel Hayward and students Ebony Garlett, Rachel Tolentino-Marshall, Tallulah Bieundurry and Kristina Clark were all present at the final awards ceremony in Perth, with first year Arts student Tallulah taking out the Miss Kwobordok title.
Meanwhile a team of 12 students from UWA has taken part in the 2016 National Indigenous Tertiary Education Student Games, matching their skills against students from 33 universities from around Australia.
UWA School of Indigenous Studies Student Services Officer Brendon DeGois said the UWA Western Waagyls team took out third place overall and was the highest ranking WA team.
“I would urge everyone, during NAIDOC Week, to remember that UWA is situated on Noongar land, to recognise the achievements of our Indigenous students and staff, and to acknowledge the unique culture and heritage of Aboriginal Australia,” Professor Johnson said.
Jess Reid (A/UWA Media and Public Relations Manager) (+61 8) 6488 6876 / (+61 4) 13 105 200