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Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander Students

Are you still in school and wondering what your future may hold? Maybe you've been at home or working and feel it’s time to find a new direction in your life.

Enhance the life of YOUR COMMUNITY through further education

If you are in any of these situations you probably want to explore your options, but you might not be sure where to start. The key thing to know is: it doesn’t really matter where you begin, and it’s never too early or too late to start. When you are doing something you love and have a rewarding career,  the more your family and community will benefit. You will be a great role model for young people and bring a wider range of knowledge and skills to the community. See Indigenous Models of Achievement for stories about how education has enriched the lives and communities of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander graduates.

This website has been put together by current students, former students and a team of professionals from a range of universities and TAFEs to help you explore what’s out there in further education and work. It’s all about sharing stories and experience and helping you to make a decision about your future – and get the kind of life you want. So, welcome.

Make up your own mind

No matter what your age and stage of life, and no matter what education or experiences you have had, further education may be the right thing for you.

Make Your Mark is designed to be your first step in deciding whether further education should be part of your future. This site is not trying to ‘sell’ further education as the only way, but it aims to guide you through the things you need to think about so that you can be confident about your decision either way. You probably won’t want to think about everything at once. You can go away and come back, and work things out in your own time.

The website has personal stories, articles that will get you thinking, topic pages with specific information and videos from current students. There are lots of sections to explore depending on where you are currently at in your thinking. Many sections incorporate information for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people within them, but there are also some more specific sections for you – see the links below. (If you're a parent or teacher, then you can go directly to our Parents & Schools section.)

What you will find on the site

Financial help: Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students
Support for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students 
Student support services 
Advice especially for you
Indigenous Models of Achievement

Real stories

Watch videos and read the stories of people who are in further education now, and how they got to this point. You can find these stories at the tab at the top of this page. We also link to lots of great Indigenous stories we’ve found on other sites as we go.

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Watch stories of achievement

This page on our website features the stories of Indigenous students and graduates.

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Busting myths

This website sets out to bust lots of myths about further education, here are just two:

Myth: You need HSC and an ATAR to study beyond high school.
Fact: There are lots of ways you can get into further study at any age – check out this section on Getting in.

Myth: University is only for people with lots of money.
Fact: With government loans you might not have to pay for it all up front and there is lots of help available including government and institutional scholarships, allowances and concessions. Check out more information in this section on finances.

And, did you know that most universities, TAFEs and other institutions have dedicated centres of support for Indigenous students? There’s a lot of support out there and Make your Mark will point you in the right direction to find it. Our name, and our motto, is ‘make your mark’, so let us show you how to do just that and get the life you want through further education.

Your future

Have you been asking yourself ‘What do I want to do with my life’? What ever age you are, you have a future to live. We can help you work out where you’re heading.

I’m worried about …

If you are thinking about studying, you may also find there are a lot of things to worry about
In the section on Money and other challenges you can also see what the solutions might be to those worries.

What are my options?

You might not know what’s out there yet. Or you’re not sure you’re making the right choice. You don’t have to study 9-5 like at school or a job, and there are a lot of courses and institutions to choose from.

Once you’ve taken a look through your career options, get down to some study options. Life continues even if you study and you might wonder how you’re going to fit it all in. There’s flexibility if you need it.

How do I get in?

When you have decided that further education is for you, Getting in is the section that will make sure it happens.

What’s student life like?

If you want to know everything from where to live, to what security and the social life is like, this section on life as a student tells all.

Some inspiring stories from the Indigenous Scholarships website

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Charles' story

Read about how going to university changed Charles' life.

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Julieka's story

Hear what Julieka thought about being a student.

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Tammy's story

Read about how Tammy overcame her challenges.

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Colin's story

Colin went back to study at Eora College of TAFE at the age of 40. Hear about his experience here.

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Oliver's story

Read about how Oliver got out of a rut and changed his future.

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Jariah's story

Read how Jariah set her goals and overcame challenges to succeed.

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Other recommended resources for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people

Resource

Indigenous Excellence - Write Your Own Story

This brochure informs and encourages Indigenous students to give university a go, by telling the stories of young people just like you who have already taken the challenge. Through education young Indigenous Australians have improved the lives in their communities, challenged stereo-types and made innovative contributions to Australian society - you could be next!

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Indigenous Scholarships

Find out about scholarships for Indigenous Australians.

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Indigenous Scholarships – success stories

Read more Inspiring stories of Indigenous Australians in further education.

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Koori Job Ready (KJR)

Check out this Aboriginal training and job centre.

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Models of Achievement

People from many different walks of life tell their inspiring stories of further education and career success.

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The Aurora Project

Information and links to Indigenous Education and Affairs projects.

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National Centre for Indigenous Excellence

If you want to find your way, you can look for help outside of the educational institutions, too. The National Centre for Indigenous Excellence builds community relationships and connects people to opportunities.

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