I identify with both the Bardi and Jaru language groups. My father’s language group is Bardi which covers the Dampier peninsula including places like Lombadina and Cape Leveque. My Mum is a strong Jaru women from the south east part of the Kimberley region which is situated on the western desert reason. I am able to remain connected with both as my parents made sure we spent an equal amount of time on both the peninsula and the dessert.
The scholarship is not only important to me because of the financial benefits, which I would be deeply grateful for, But for what the scholarship values and the platform it aims to create. I value the scholarship because it values empowering indigenous youth and making a positive change in our remote indigenous communities. I also value the scholarship because it is a platform which aims to increase the amount of Indigenous psychologist. Due to the fact that there are higher rates of suicide, mental illness and cognitive deficiencies amongst the aboriginal population, there is obviously a gap that needs to be addressed by Aboriginal workers who can relate to these people and them situations. I love the fact that it is trying to change the narrative of the white man helping the helpless black man to Aboriginal people helping and empowering other Aboriginal people. This is why it would be an honour to be a recipient of the scholarship and to be a part of Dr. Westerman’s team of Aboriginal psychologists.
I want to get into cognitive and development psychology because, those that are subject to entrenched disadvantage often have trouble with early childhood development which can then lead to poor handling of stress and development of mental illness. I would then like to use the knowledge that I’ve gained from university, with the help of this scholarship to work alongside the education department in remote areas, specifically the Kimberley to implement strategies within schools that aim to increase indigenous students’ chance of normal cognitive development which could help prevent the development of mental illness in later stages of life. These strategies would also help increase indigenous outcomes in education making it one step closer to closing the gap between non-Indigenous and Aboriginal people.