Minda Murray is a proud Yorta Yorta/Dhuderoa person, professional athlete, and recipient of the 2019 ANU College of Arts and Social Sciences Indigenous Australian Graduate Scholarship.
With a decades’ experience in the public sector addressing environmental issues, Minda decided to take the next step in her career commencing the Master of Applied Anthropology and Participatory Development (MAAPD) at ANU in 2019. The University’s long record of leadership in Indigenous economic and social policy, and specialised expertise on offer made the choice to commence postgraduate study at ANU easy for Minda.
“I’m really enjoying the subjects in my first semester. They are a great mix of challenging, familiar and one which is completely outside of my comfort zone and yet it is one of the most valuable ones in my learning journey”.
At a time when climate change and population growth are among the biggest issues facing Australia and the world, postgraduate study in Anthropology made sense to Minda. During her involvement in the public sector, she noticed a shift away from an authoritarian science-based management style to leadership with a greater focus on the ‘people side’ of environmental management. A desire to understand how society and the environment can co-exist.
An informed voice is a louder voice, I hope to use that voice to amplify those of my people so they can be not only heard, but actually listened to
As a proud Yorta Yorta/Dhuderoa person and deeply connected to her people and culture, Minda hopes to use her anthropological studies to help shape future policy and government decision-making.
“I live by the rule that our current world is borrowed from the next generation, treat it wisely and pass it on in better condition than when it was passed to you. I hope to use my skills from anthropology to shape policy and direction of the government and the world around me in general so that Aboriginal people have more empowerment and choice, and that non-Aboriginal people and Aboriginal people have more respect for each other. An informed voice is a louder voice, I hope to use that voice to amplify those of my people so they can be not only heard, but actually listened to. It’s a great place to be in, there is so much enthusiasm in this space.”
Minda’s study at ANU is supported by the College of Arts and Social Sciences Indigenous Australian Graduate Coursework Scholarship. This valuable scholarship allows her to focus on her Masters without financial pressure. Combined with the flexibility of MAAPD’s online study, Minda can pursue her athletic career and compete in competitions such as the USA Criterium Race Series while still being able to attend lectures and complete coursework with the assistance of her lecturers. Minda is also able to explore different cultures while in America, including Native American cultures that she has a particular interest in, and put the findings from her coursework into practice.
“The CASS scholarship means that the financial stress of studying is partly alleviated. It means I do not have to find part time work to support myself while studying, so that that time can be dedicated to my learnings. I was originally going to do MAAPD full time for 12 months and unfortunately would have to go back to my job (I’m on unpaid study leave) and finish the rest one class at a time, but now I may be able to take more time for the course and complete it before I have to go back to work due to financial strain.”
Each semester, the College offers the scholarship to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students undertaking graduate coursework within the College. Aimed at students who have never completed postgraduate studies, awardees not only receive financial support, but access to academic mentoring at the College.
“Don’t doubt yourself. It is scary, it is new, the unknown makes the task feel unachievable, but just start, just enrol, and you will never look back. There is so much support in the Tjabal Centre and other areas of the university, with tutoring etc. It’s achievable, and the university is there to help.”
For more information about the CASS Indigenous Australian Graduate Coursework Scholarship go to the CASS Scholarships webpage.
Applications for Semester 1 2020 open on 1 November 2019 and close 11:59pm 6 March 2020.