On Thursday 17 August 2017, four Indigenous Australian students were awarded scholarships totalling more than $500,000 to pursue postgraduate study at three of the world’s leading universities, Cambridge, London School of Economics and Oxford.
British High Commissioner to Australia, Her Excellency Menna Rawlings CMG, presented the 2017 Charlie Perkins and Roberta Sykes Scholarships in Canberra, alongside Richard Potok, CEO of the Aurora Education Foundation, and Executive Director of both the Charlie Perkins Scholarship Trust and the Roberta Sykes Indigenous Education Foundation.
The Charlie Perkins Scholarship Trust and the Roberta Sykes Indigenous Education Foundation are each named in honour of visionary leaders who believed in the power of education. The Scholarships are designed to support Indigenous Australians who have the potential to become leaders in their field of study and in their communities.
High Commissioner Rawlings said, “I’m delighted to be able to present these scholarships on behalf of the British Government and our prestigious Chevening scholarships scheme. The Charlie Perkins and Roberta Sykes Scholarships are outstanding initiatives that we are proud to support. I am certain each of the recipients tonight will make an extraordinary contribution to Australia’s future, as the many former recipients continue to do so.”
This year’s Charlie Perkins Scholars are: University of NSW graduate Ashley Walker and Western Sydney University and University of NSW graduate Brook Andrew.
The Roberta Sykes Scholars are: University of Queensland graduate Baringa Kukoyi and University of Melbourne, RMIT University and Australian Catholic University graduate Ruby Warber.
“Six years ago, there had never been an Indigenous Australian studying for a full-time degree at either Oxford or Cambridge universities,” explains Richard Potok. “Now, thanks to the Charlie Perkins and Roberta Sykes Scholarships, there have been 37 Indigenous postgraduates accepted to Oxford and Cambridge, including three of this year’s recipients, all on the basis of academic merit. This year, we are also delighted to commence our partnership with London School of Economics. We are incredibly proud of this year’s recipients, whose hard work and dedication to academic excellence is a testament to the pioneering founders of these Scholarships.”
This year’s Scholars are jointly supported by the Australian Government, Boston Consulting Group, the British Government through the Chevening program, Cambridge Australia Scholarships, the Cambridge Commonwealth, European & International Trust, the Katrina Dawson Foundation, London School of Economics and Saïd Business School at the University of Oxford.