Flinders University speech pathology student Lakkari Rigney gave a keynote address to around 150 Indigenous secondary school students at the SACE Aboriginal Pathways Conference at Flinders today.
With its theme of actually, I can, the conference enables Aboriginal students from across South Australia to explore future study, training and employment opportunities.
Year 10, 11 and 12 students from 30 schools are attending the sixth annual conference, which was opened by the Minister for Education and Child Development, Jennifer Rankine.
As well as having the opportunity to talk to representatives from the three major local universities, the students will attend a mock trial, build video games, explore the brain’s flexibility, and experience drama activities.
Many of the students participating are interested in higher and further education, reflecting the 2013 SACE results, where significantly more Aboriginal students achieved their SACE.
Two years ago, Ms Rigney was one of 25 recipients of a Governor’s Commendation for achieving excellence in the SACE.
She said her parents and grandparents emphasised the importance of a good education, and she firmly believes in working hard, achieving and contributing to her family and the community.
“The opportunities are there for young Aboriginal people – study opens up those opportunities – we just have to be willing to chase them,” Ms Rigney said.
At Flinders University, the Yunggorendi First Nations Centre for Higher Education and Research provides a focal point for Indigenous students, encouraging and supporting students’ participation and success in higher education.