Indigenous students in the Wet Tropics are being encouraged to apply for a grant to help with studies and future employment opportunities in environmental and agricultural fields.
Terrain NRM’s Natural Capital Fund Indigenous Education Bursary Program is open to students studying natural resource management, environmental studies, sustainable development, agriculture or conservation at university or TAFE.
Tamieka Barlow, one of two successful applicants in 2021, is studying a Bachelor of Environmental Practice at James Cook University. She received a $3000 grant through the fund.
“The bursary really helped me with my studies. I’m glad it has been created to help students who want to work on Country get to where they want to go,” she said.
“I found the application process really easy, and Terrain has provided ongoing support and opportunities to get involved in events and meet people who work in the sector.”
Terrain NRM’s Natural Capital Fund director Rhiannon Simcocks said the bursaries were all about encouraging more Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders to become future leaders in natural resource management.
“It’s incredibly important for us to recognise the connection between young indigenous people and Country,’’ Ms Simcocks said. “We want to help support students to further their studies and provide a stepping-stone for careers in natural resource management.
“There is a huge amount to be learned from young indigenous people, and from younger voices as a whole.
“I was lucky enough to be Terrain NRM Board’s first ‘Emerging Leader’, an opportunity that included a 12-month board mentorship program. Since then, I’ve become a board director and I’ve seen how important targeted assistance can be in shaping career paths, as well as how important it is to bring the voices of the younger generation to the table.
“This bursary program was born out of the Emerging Leader program. We hope it helps students while also giving back to the natural environment through lifelong careers in natural resource management – whether that’s in employment roles, partnerships or leadership positions.”
For more information about the Natural Capital Fund Indigenous Education Bursary Program, visit http://www.terrain.org.au/about-us/natural-capital-fund. Applications close on 30 June.