Indigenous student push

Peter SweeneyMidwest Times
Former Mount Magnet woman Shahnaz Rind.
Camera IconFormer Mount Magnet woman Shahnaz Rind. Credit: Supplied

An Indigenous woman who grew up in the Mid West — and whose heart is still here — will be part of a national advertising campaign to attract more Indigenous people into studying longer.

The promotion by Australian universities is launched today as part of NAIDOC Week. As part of the Indigenous OpportUNIty campaign, the stories of four Indigenous students and graduates discuss what a university education has meant to them and their communities.

Shahnaz Rind, 27, a Yamatji woman from Mount Magnet, moved to Melbourne for the final years of high school after doing her early years in Perth.

After seeing her grandmother lose limbs to debilitating diabetes, she knew she wanted to help others. So she started working in the medical field when completing a bachelor of nursing. Now she is studying optometry — targeting another degree — and eventually wants to return to her country and work in communities.

“I would love to do that, we usually come back to Mount Magnet every year for a visit,” Ms Rind said. “My Mum and Dad always said, go to university, go to school, finish it. That’s one of the main reasons why we moved to Melbourne.

“Cause my parents didn’t have that opportunity. They had culture, which was strong, they taught us culture. But they said education is the key.”

Ms Rind is working as a project officer at the Youth Affairs Council Victoria working with Indigenous young people.

“Our people have been resilient for 60,000 plus years. Keep going,” was her message to prospective Indigenous students on the challenge of studying at university.

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