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Curtin Indigenous scholars visit world’s top universities

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A Curtin University student and two graduates have experienced a once in a lifetime study tour including visits to some of the world’s most prestigious learning institutions, after being selected to join the 2018 Aurora Indigenous Scholars International Study Tour.

Bachelor of Arts in Creative Writing Honours student Josephine Newman was joined on the tour by 2015 Bachelor of Laws graduate Chloe D’Souza and 2016 Master of Business Leadership graduate Gningala Yarran-Mark, who also completed a Bachelor of Science (Indigenous Australian Research) with Honours in 2018.

The trio has just returned from the Study Tour, which included visits to the University of California, Berkley, and Stanford, Columbia, Harvard and New York universities in the US, along with the London School of Business and Finance, the London School of Economics and the universities of Cambridge and Oxford in the UK.

Curtin University Vice-Chancellor Professor Deborah Terry congratulated the trio on being selected to undertake the Study Tour.

“I am delighted that Josephine, Chloe and Gningala were each selected for this prestigious opportunity to visit some of the world’s finest universities,” Professor Terry said.

“I’m sure each one of them learned a great deal about post graduate study and feel hugely inspired by their experiences on the tour.”

Ms Newman, who graduated earlier this year with a Bachelor of Science in Environmental Biology and a Bachelor of Arts in Professional Writing and Publishing, said being a part of the 2018 Aurora Indigenous Scholars Study Tour was a huge honour.

“I was able to visit some of the top universities in the US and the UK and meet with leading academics in my field, which was such a fantastic opportunity,” Ms Newman said.

“I particularly enjoyed sitting in on a science fiction studies class at NYU and meeting some of the researchers at Stanford’s Artificial Intelligence Lab, given I recently finished my Honours thesis on artificial intelligence in science fiction.

“I really want to do a PhD and would ultimately like to be an academic, preferably at Curtin, along with writing science fiction and science communications on the side. I’d love to set up a science fiction studies centre in Australia one day.”

The annual Aurora Indigenous Scholars International Study Tour allows participants to gain insight into the reality of undertaking postgraduate study at some of the world’s leading educational institutions and to travel with a group of like-minded students. The tour includes meetings with key academics and administrators at each university, as well as current students in the areas of the participants’ interest.

More information about the Aurora Education Foundation is available here.

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