A UNIVERSITY of Newcastle scholarship program looks very different this year, with students swapping China for cultural immersion in Indigenous Australia.
UON has run since 2018 the Ma and Morley Scholarship Program, which aims to provide students with an eye-opening and life-changing opportunity to travel.
Previously this has been to China, but this has not been possible for the past three years due to COVID-19. Instead, the 2020 scholars left Newcastle on Monday for Broken Hill, for a trip that will focus on Aboriginal connections to people, place and spirituality or purpose.
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Wiradjuri man and UON Pro Vice Chancellor of Indigenous Strategy and Leadership, Nathan Towney, said the trip showcases the commitment UON has to Aboriginal communities and to learning and respecting traditional culture.
"It closely aligns with all the values of the Ma and Morley program of equity and respect and students will be able to learn about the education and health priorities of the communities we visit, as well as the social and environmental challenges they face."
The 14 students will be guided by cultural educators as they meet with communities in Glen Innes, Moree, Walgett, Brewarrina, Menindee, Wilcannia, Broken Hill, Dubbo and Wellington. Mr Towney's mother will host breakfast in Wellington.
The itinerary includes visiting Nanima Mission, the site of the Hospital Creek massacre, the Brewarrina fish traps and local Aboriginal health bodies.
The students will see a Gomeroi Dance Group performance and participate in NAIDOC Week activities with Miyay Birray Youth Services.
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