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Our Students

Ngunnawal Centre - Our Students


Jennifer Reilly - Bachelor of Arts in International Studies


Jen is a proud Bidjara woman from South West Queensland. She moved to Canberra from Cairns to pursue a career with the Defense Science and Technology group to study a Bachelor of Arts in International Studies majoring in Indigenous Studies. 

“The Ngunnawal Centre has provided the ongoing support, training and study facilities that have helped immensely in getting through my first year of study.”

Jen hopes to undertake her last semester overseas in Canada to learn about the First Nations Peoples, and to gain a greater understanding of their cultures, history and traditions. She also aspires to gain professional experience overseas within her organisation, as an International Policy Officer.

“The highlight of my time so far at UC has been the opportunity to undertake Indigenous Studies units because it enables me to learn more about my people, history and achievements. I hope to use my education to become not only an Indigenous leader in my community and family, but also within the Australian Public Service.”

Staycee Charles - Bachelor of Science in Psychology


Staycee is a proud Gunditijmara / Wemba Wemba woman from Victoria. She was a participant in The Aspiration Initiative (TAI) program, with the Aurora Project. Staycee is currently an undergraduate student and is studying a Bachelor of Science in Psychology. She is the first in her family to go to University, and she aspires to be a Forensic Psychologist in the future.

“The Ngunnawal Centre staff are like my second family, and have continued to support my academic aspirations. I recommend all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students to access the services the Centre provides.’

Kelvin de Mamiel - Bachelor of Engineering in Network and Software Engineering (Honours)


Kelvin is a proud Kuku Yalanji Man. He has been completing a Bachelor of Engineering in Network and Software Engineering (with Honours) for the past 3 years, and is continuing completing his degree while gaining experience through internship programs.  Kelvin wishes to take opportunities to develop his talents and skills to gain a professional career in the IT field. His goals are to see ideas that he has helped developed and shaped to become reality.

“While undergoing my studies, I have gained the opportunity to complete an internship with Ernst and Young, and also the opportunity to work with the Department of Defence, Science and Technology.”


Wendy Somerville – Current  PhD Postgraduate


Wendy is a Jerrinja woman raised on Ngiyampaa Wangaaypuwan country. After commencing her studies through the UC Foundation Program, she continued onto eventually complete a Bachelor of Cultural Heritage degree. Wendy completed her honours in 2013 and commenced her PhD in History Studies in 2014. “The Ngunnawal Centre, its staff and the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students who regularly use the Centre have been, and continue to be, important for my cultural well-being whilst at university. I plan to stay in contact with the Centre through tutoring and mentoring when I complete my PhD studies.“


Shanaye Baxter - Bachelor of Social Science, (Major in Sociology and Social Policy and Indigenous Studies)


Shanaye is a proud Wiraduri woman. "I’m a Wiradjuri women, but I have lived on Ngunnawal land my whole life. My grandmother and grandfather moved down from Wellington, New South Wales when my Dad was still a boy. Queanbeyan is now our home, and our community."

"I graduated from my degree is September this year, after 4 years studying a mix of part-time and full-time. I first entered UC through the Foundation Program, which gave me the skills and confidence I needed to succeed in my degree. I finished with a Bachelor of Social Science, majoring in Sociology and Social Policy and Indigenous Studies."

"Having worked in the Australian Public Service for several years prior to starting my studies, I became really passionate about creating good policies for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. I have already been able to put my knowledge and skills to use in the public service, and in the higher education sector. I hope to continue to work with Indigenous people and communities to implement effective public policy."