My name is Nikki McKenzie and I am an Aboriginal woman from the remote of town of Derby, which is located in the Kimberley region of Western Australia. Growing up in a region where we have one of the highest rates of suicide in the world has led me towards studying psychology, with the hope of one day working in my community to assist in addressing the complex issues and reduce the rate of suicide.
Being a mature aged student with limited supports available, I also work full time to support myself. Working full time and studying full time can be a struggle and to be honest there have been times where I have briefly thought about giving up, but I am determined to graduate. Upon the completion of my degree, I would like to go onto further studies to eventually become a Clinical Psychologist.
I was lucky enough to be selected as one of the inaugural 2019 recipients of the Dr Tracy Westerman Aboriginal Psychology Program. This was an amazing opportunity, as not only did the scholarship allow for some financial relief, but it also opened up networking opportunities and the chance to be supported directly by Dr Westerman. Under the scholarship I would hope that this support may continue. As I believe the structure of this scholarship program delivers a “wrap around” service that will not only support us financially but more so on a more personal level with the mentoring and encouragement to continue on. This I believe can make a huge impact towards someone such as myself achieving their goals towards wanting to make a difference in their community.