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2017 Roberta Sykes Scholarship Recipients
Left to right: Baringa Kukoyi, Julia Moriarty, Charles Prouse, Ruby Warber and Alison Whittaker
The Roberta Sykes Indigenous Education Foundation is pleased to announce the recipients of the Roberta Sykes Scholarships, a scheme assisting Indigenous Australians to pursue postgraduate study at leading overseas universities.
The five recipients are: University of Queensland graduate Baringa Kukoyi, UNSW graduate Julia Moriarty, University of Western Sydney graduate Charles Prouse, Australian Catholic University graduate Ruby Warber and University of Technology graduate Alison Whittaker.
Baringa Kukoyi, a Turrbal and Gubbi Gubbi woman from Queensland, will undertake a Master of Business Administration at the Judge Business School and Hughes Hall, Cambridge. Baringa graduated from the University of Queensland with a Bachelor of Economics and Bachelor of Commerce in 2012. She completed a Graduate Diploma of Chartered Accounting in 2016. She was the recipient of the Queensland Indigenous Student Ambassador Scholarship to Canada in 2011. Baringa has worked in the financial field, including as a Treasury Dealer for Virgin Australia and a cadet Finance Officer for the Queensland Treasury. Baringa was an Aurora Scholar on the 2016 Study Tour
Julia Moriarty is a Yanyuwa woman from Borroloola in the Northern Territory. Julia will be commencing an MFA in Screenwriting (Film and Television) at UCLA, having graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in Creative Writing with First Class Honours at UNSW in 2016 and an Advanced Diploma in Screenwriting (Series Television) at the Australian Film, Television and Radio School in 2015.
Charles Prouse is a Nyikina man from Derby, the Kimberley, Western Australia. He has lived in Perth, Melbourne and now is based in Sydney. Charles is in the UK now, undertaking a Master of Public Administration at Harvard. He completed a Bachelor of Science in 1997 at the University of Western Australia and has also completed the Australian Institute of Company Directors course and the Sydney Leadership Australia program. He is chairman of the Australian Indigenous Leadership Centre, was on the Board of the Benevolent Society and a Delegate for the National Congress of Australia’s First Peoples. Charles has 20 years of experience in Indigenous affairs across Australia including roles such as CEO at National Aboriginal Sporting Chance Academy, and CEO at Supply Nation and most recently as part of Lendlease’s Indigenous Supplier Diversity initiative. Charles was participant in the Aurora Indigenous Scholars International Study Tour in 2015.
Ruby Warber, a descendent of the Noongar people in Western Australia, will undertake an MSc in Global Population Health at London School of Economics. Ruby graduated from the University of Melbourne with a Bachelor of Arts (Psychology) in 2010 and a Bachelor of Applied Science from RMIT University in 2012, with First Class Honours in Psychology. She went on to complete a Master of Clinical Psychology from the Australian Catholic University in 2016. In 2017, Ruby has been working as a Psychologist at the Victorian Aboriginal Health Service. Ruby was an Aurora Scholar on the 2016 Study Tour.
Alison Whittaker is a Gomeroi woman from the NSW floodplain fringe who recently completed a Bachelor of Arts and LLB at the University of Technology, Sydney. She was the 2015 National Law Student of the Year, 2011-2014 UTS Law Equity Scholarship recipient, and the 2015 Kuril Dhagun Indigenous Writing Fellowship recipient. Alison has commenced an LLM at Harvard this year. She recently released a book called ‘Lemons in the Chicken Wire’. Alison was a participant in the Aurora Indigenous Scholars International Study Tour in 2016.
Supporting Indigenous students for over 25 years, the Roberta Sykes Indigenous Education Foundation offers a number of students the opportunity to undertake postgraduate study at leading overseas universities each year.
This year's Scholars are jointly supported by the Australian Government, Boston Consulting Group, the British Government through the Chevening program, Cambridge Australia Scholarships, the Cambridge Commonwealth, European & International Trust, the Katrina Dawson Foundation, London School of Economics and Saïd Business School at the University of Oxford.
Speaking about the scholarships, the Chair of the Roberta Sykes Foundation, Peter Waters said:
“Twenty years ago, Indigenous scholars were confined to a narrow range of disciplines. Today however, scholars are branching out across a variety of fields.
“The Roberta Sykes Scholarships promote the vision of a better future in which Indigenous people can assume positive roles across a spectrum of career and leadership opportunities.
“We acknowledge that it is largely due to the generosity of our donors that our recipients are able to realise their aspiration of overseas study.”
The scholarships to Cambridge and Oxford cover all fees and living expenses, and are valued at over $70,000 for the period of one year.