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Welcome to the Aspire Newsletter

Hi Everyone,

I've recently started doing push-ups. 50-a-day! Not because I like them but I knew I needed a target to reach towards, to get fit again.

Aspire has put up some new goalposts too. We are proud to launch our ‘Coaching Program’  where all Aspire students have access to 1-1 life coaching.

Learn how we are helping NT students kick some goals! Read the Aspire Newsletter here

"Being a part of the Aspire program since year 10 has been a huge advantage for myself personally in that I have always had people to go to if support is needed". Emily Hardy Scholarship Recipient, 2020   

Aspire students waving
 

 

NO SHAME IN $10,000 ASPIRE SCHOLARSHIP

What would you do if someone gave you $10,000 to spend?

This is the question I asked recently to three past Aspire students who have been awarded the new Aspire University Scholarship’

Ann Roy (Group A), Shantale Niyonsaba (Group D) and Emily Hardy (Group D) are the first students to be awarded this significant scholarship.

Ann Roy
Ann Roy - Aspire University Scholarship recipient

 When asked what she would spend her first $5,000 payment, Ann Roy quickly responded,

‘I knew I needed a new and powerful computer for my Architecture studies. The scholarship is timely as I am not working due to COVID’

As part of her Bachelor of Arts, Ann has to make scale models of her architectural concepts.

‘I had spend a lot of money at Bunnings recently. Balsawood cost a lot of money!’

 

Shantale Niyonsaba - Aspire Scholarship recipient
Shantale Niyonsaba - Aspire University Scholarship recipient

Shantale Niyonsaba who is studying a Bachelor of Nursing, remarked,

‘I am going to save the money so that I can work less during the summer semester’.

The scholarship is intended to help students to work less, especially when the pressure is on at University.

 

Research finds that students who work more hours, have lower grades and were more likely to drop out.  Our students who receive the Aspire Scholarship will soon receive $5000 to support their studies in semester 1. The scholarship is designed to be ongoing and $2,500 is awarded in semester 3 and 4.

 

Emily Hardy - Aspire University Scholarship recipient
Emily Hardy - Aspire University Scholarship recipient

Emily Hardy who is studying a Bachelor of Health Sciences plans to spend the money on …

There are over 60 different scholarships available to study VET and Higher Education at Charles Darwin University. Learn more through the Scholarships Finder or contact Aspire.

 

The special thing about the Aspire Scholarship is that it is ONLY available for students who have been part of the Aspire Program in high school and come to study at degree at CDU.

When asked, ‘What advice would you have to anyone else if they apply for the Scholarship in the future?, Ann Roy responded,

“There is no shame in applying for a scholarship – I think that’s what people fear. There’s no shame in wanting to ask for help. There’s no shame in sharing your story.”

2020

  • This month we will hold our sixth Aspire Graduation at the CDU Waterfront Campus for our Group F (Year 12)  Aspire participants.  Students from across the Territory will participate in workshops, reflecting on their student journeys, exploring plans for 2021 and beyond, hear from Aspire alumni, learn about opportunities to study and travel overseas with CDU. 

2019

CDU Aspire graduate receives youth award the 2019 NT Human Rights Awards

 Joshua Barnes, Coordinator of the Aspire Program, and 2019 NT Young Australian of the Year Nominee & CDU postgraduate student - Jane Alia.
Joshua Barnes, Coordinator of the Aspire Program, Jubilee Weo, and 2019 NT Young Australian of the Year Nominee and CDU postgraduate student Jane Alia.

Year 12 Aspire Graduate, Jubilee Weo, was recognised at the 2019 NT Human Rights Awards held December 10 coinciding with Human Rights Day.

She won "The Fitzgerald Youth Award - individual" for her leadership of Yumurruku ngalapalmi – Yonglu for ‘young adults’ – a youth engagement and social change project in Yirrkala, East-Arnhem land.

Jubilee plans to study nursing at CDU in 2020 and hopes to continue her inspiring community work here in Darwin.

  • cdu aspire year 10 group

    Seventeen Year 10 students from school across the Northern Territory and South Australia came together in April for their Year 10 Aspire Orientation – the first event of their Aspire Program scholarship.

    Students came from the Darwin regional area as well as Katherine, Nhulunbuy, Tennant Creek, Alice Springs, and Glossop in South Australia to attend the event.

    Staying in on-campus accommodation at International House Darwin meant students got to immerse themselves in university life for two days, and attend workshops and activities designed to demystify higher education.

    Students practiced study skills and time management, built teamwork and problem-solving capacity, learnt about pathways from school to higher and further education, and explored the CDU campus. As part of the experience students worked with local facilitators Amy Hetherington and Adam Drake, as well as interstate speaker Nathan Hulls.

    Our Group G Aspire students are an inspiring group of young people, and the Aspire team look forward to watching them grow over the next three years of the program, and to hopefully welcome them as CDU students in the future.

    Year 10 Aspire Orientation was held Wednesday 10 & Thursday 11 April 2019.

  • During March our 16 Group E Aspire students took part in a workshop designed to prepare them for Year 12 and the opportunities and challenges to follow. Students travelled to CDU’s Casuarina Campus from all over the NT including Darwin, Alice Springs, Katherine, Tennant Creek, Nhulunbuy and Glossop in the Riverland in SA. Those who travelled to Darwin from rural, regional and remote towns and communities stayed on-campus at International House to get a ‘taste’ for what it’s like to live away from home as a university student.

    Students participated in a workshop exploring online learning platform Learnline and the tutoring service available to them, learnt about university life, study, scholarships, and the other opportunities available to them at CDU, and developed skills in networking and talking about themselves without feeling ‘weird’ in preparation for job, scholarship and apprenticeship interviews. Local comedian and facilitator Amy Hetherington also facilitated a ‘silliness workshop’ to reduce stress and remind them to have fun amongst all the seriousness!

    This group of students will next come together in late November to celebrate the end of Year 12 and to graduate from the Aspire Program in a formal graduation ceremony.

  • aspire-group-12-grad-joel-kennaway

    Joel Kennaway is one of the Aspire Program’s graduates from 2016 (Group B). In 2017 he commenced a Bachelor of Engineering/Masters of Civil Engineering at CDU and was awarded the Vice-Chancellor’s Prize for High Achievement. Joel is now planning to live and study overseas in the Philippines through CDU after being awarded the New Colombo Plan Scholarship.

    Joel will undergo language training, work as an intern with local establishments and further his studies while based at a leading university. It will be his second overseas venture, having lived in Timor-Leste for six years. “There was a little bit of trepidation on hearing news of my selection, but mostly I’m excited about what promises to be a very different experience,” Joel said. “I’m planning to leave in March for eight or nine months.” Joel has also been selected as the New Colombo Plan Philippines Fellow, an honour bestowed on the top-ranked student for each destination country.

    “It’s a coveted role that means I may be invited to represent Australia at various events or be called on to promote the scholarship program.” Joel said he expected the opportunity would allow him to experience ‘different sectors’ within the broad field of civil engineering. “I’m keen to develop my own networks, develop the Northern Territory and will share my experiences with CDU when I return to Darwin.

    Joel joined us at our recent Group D Aspire graduation event and gave an inspiring speech to our graduating students. We share it here in the hopes that his wisdom and experience will help other Aspire students.

2018

  • This month we held our fourth Aspire Graduation at the CDU Waterfront Campus for our Group D (Year 12) Aspire participants. Students took part in a workshop during the day revisiting Aspire memories, exploring plans for 2018 and beyond, hearing from Aspire alumni, and learning about opportunities to study and travel overseas with CDU.

    In the evening an intimate graduation ceremony was held where Aspire students were joined by family and friends to celebrate finishing secondary school, and to formally graduate from the program. Chair of CDU’s Academic Board, Dr Aggie Wegner, joined us to congratulate each student on their achievements. Aspire alumni and current CDU engineering student Joel Kennaway also joined us and gave an inspiring speech about his own experience of the Aspire Program and how instrumental it was in helping to forge his current path.

    We look forward to continuing to support our Aspire Group D students and are excited to see what paths they take and what future adventures they have in store!

  • Our Year 11, Group E Aspire students came together for a workshop exploring self-confidence, goals and aspirations, and various pathways and careers that they are interested in. Students also had the opportunity to speak in-depth to a professional or student in their area of interest.

    Our regional and remote students stayed at International House to get a feel for what living ‘on-campus’ is like and enjoyed leisure time and team-building activities including the ‘Breakout’ rooms in the city, where they had to work together to escape using problem-solving skills in under an hour.

    The following day students explored the opportunities that Discover CDU Day presented to them. Popular workshops were the ‘Beginner’s Guide to Uni’ talk, as well as the scholarships and studying overseas sessions.

  • Cindy Um is one of the Aspire Program’s graduates from 2017 (Group C). This year she has commenced a Bachelor of Commerce Finance and Banking at the University of New South Wales and has made the big move down to Sydney from Darwin. Achieving a high ATAR enabled Cindy to apply for and receive several scholarships, which she describes as being “tremendously helpful” for the move.

    “There have been so many opportunities in Sydney and to take advantage of those I’ve decided to work in the industry in conjunction with my studies. The thing I’m most excited about though is the opportunity to pursue an internship in both London and New York throughout my degree as part of my scholarship program – so visiting Big Ben and Central park are definitely in my plans for the future!” she says.

    She credits the Aspire Program for part of her success, “I think the way Aspire ties into it all is that because I had already been through so much interview prep through all the workshops I was able to really put my best foot forward when I got UNSW interviews and had my first ever panel interview with the directors and partners of the ‘big banks’ and accounting firms. Also, having my scholarship submissions proofread by Aspire staff was super helpful!”

    For Cindy, the combination of personal and professinal development that the Aspire Program provided was especially valuable. “I liked developing those soft skills – that process of self-discovery and figuring out what type of person I wanted to be in the future – and then breaking that down into mid-term goals and career pathways”.

    Of the network and friends the Aspire Program provided her with, Cindy says “I felt so at ease going through the university application process because I had friends from the Aspire Program before me who had already done it and were there to answer any questions I had. Knowing that if anything went wrong I could always call on the Aspire staff for help was so comforting”.

    Cindy credits the volunteering and extra-curricular element of the Aspire Program for helping her get her scholarships, and encourages current Aspire students to embrace these experiences. “Talking about all the volunteering and extra-curricular activities I pursued during high school was something that the selection panel for my scholarships said really stood out on my applications. Even just having one volunteering placement really puts you a head above the rest!”

    Congratulations Cindy on your achievements. The Aspire team can’t wait to see what you do next!

  • Twenty-five Year 10 students from Aspire partner schools across Darwin, the Northern Territory and South Australia met at CDU’s Casuarina Campus for the first time in April for their Aspire Year 10 Orientation. Students travelled from Nhulunbuy, Alice Springs, Katherine, Dundee Beach, Supplejack Downs Station (the most remote cattle station in Australia!) and Glossop in South Australia to attend the event.

    Staying in on-campus accommodation at International House Darwin meant students got a taste of university life while they attended workshops during the day. Activities were designed to encourage students to explore the university campus, become comfortable with each other, inspire resilience and optimism, and discover university life. 

    Students learnt about volunteering opportunities, practised study skills, and built teamwork. Facilitator Amy Hetherington and interstate speaker Nathan Hulls also met and worked with students during the two days.

    Our Group F Aspire students are a very special group of young people and the Aspire team look forward to working closely with them over the next three years. 

  • During March, our Group D Aspire students took part in a workshop designed to prepare them for Year 12 and the opportunities and challenges to follow. 

    Students participated in a workshop exploring resilience and coping strategies, were given the opportunity to talk in-depth to a professional working in their area of interest, learnt about university life and opportunities, and honed speaking and presentation skills to prepare them for job, scholarship and apprenticeship interviews. Local comedian Amy Hetherington also facilitated a ‘silliness workshop’ to remind them to have fun amongst all the seriousness!

    This group of students will next come together in late November to celebrate the end of Year 12 and to graduate from the Aspire Program in a formal graduation ceremony.