Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Student of the Year

Sponsored by East Arnhem Regional Council.

Winner: Philadelphia Hughes - Certificate IV in Frontline Management

Registered training provider: Charles Darwin University

A desire to progress in her career led Philadelphia to undertake what she describes as a life-changing experience. Her studies have not only increased her skills, they have given her the confidence to take on new challenges personally and professionally.

Philadelphia has progressed from being a young woman who didn’t finish high school, to one who was awarded Most Outstanding Student in her class. This sparked a thirst for further education and she is now undertaking a university degree through the NT Public Sector Indigenous Cadetship Support Program. She sees her certificate studies as giving her the building blocks to build a new future.

Philadelphia has incorporated the communication skills, learned as part of certificate IV, into her university studies and her personal life. She aims to be a role model for Aboriginal students starting on a journey of further education. Her personal motto has become 'Never stay comfortable, keep striving and stay hungry for knowledge'.

Runner up: Josephine Grant - Certificate III in Conservation and Land Management

Registered training provider: Batchelor Institute of Indigenous Tertiary Education

Josephine began her studies in Conservation and Land Management when she started as a Muru-warinyi Ankkul Ranger in 2012. As an adult learner, her interest in Conservation and Land Management was sparked by a childhood growing up on country with her elders, learning traditional land management practices. As a ranger, she combines traditional knowledge with Western science-based practices learned through her certificate-level training.

Her supervisors say Josephine’s strong work ethic and enthusiasm for learning drives the successful Muru-warinyi Ankkul Ranger team, inspiring others to learn new skills. She is taking on an operational team leader role and manages small teams in the field undertaking cultural and natural land resource management projects.

After a broad career including working in the health and employment and training sectors, Josephine now enjoys working outdoors and learning new skills. Her commitment to learning is demonstrated by her willingness to travel long distances to undertake courses and spend many weeks away from home and family in order to achieve her qualifications.

Last updated: 24 June 2019

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