Skip to main content

Student stories

International scholarship for Elinor’s Indigenous policy study dream

This article appears in: Humanities and Social Science, Indigenous Knowledges, Studying in Australia
Indigenous knowledges building

Elinor’s focus on her studies recently paid off when was awarded a Vice-Chancellor’s International High Achiever Scholarship to study a postgraduate degree at Charles Darwin University in Darwin. At 22-years-old, Elinor is one of the youngest students in her class, but she’s on a decidedly advanced study path—a Master of Public Policy that she’ll use to address Indigenous disadvantage.

Elinor smiling

I came to CDU with clear goals in mind to learn about Indigenous peoples, have an opportunity to work with them, and establish connections with organisations advancing Indigenous rights. CDU offers many courses and does a lot of research in fields that fit my interests in Indigenous studies

Elinor completed an undergraduate degree in linguistics in her native Philippines, partly driven by her interest in Indigenous culture and knowledges. For Elinor, CDU was an obvious next step in pursuing her passion for study and for advancing the rights of Indigenous peoples.

Elinor has extended family in Darwin—a support network that has made it easier to study in Australia. “Even though my family has supported me in my studies, the cost of studying abroad is one of the biggest challenges an international student faces. I was lucky to be granted a scholarship, which helps me manage the cost of tuition,” Elinor said.

Elinor with her family

As she found her feet during her first semester of study, Elinor said she struggled with confidence when she discovered she was younger and had less professional experience than her classmates, many of whom had already started their careers as policy makers.

“At times this overwhelmed me, but of course I’m here to learn from these people. Now I’m starting my second semester with a lot more confidence because I was able to adjust and keep a positive mindset,” Elinor said.

Elinor’s advice to people considering studying at university is to know your interests and passion so you can decide which area of study to pursue.

CDU is very student-friendly and provides new students with plenty of support and guidance as they familiarise themselves with how the university works

“Another thing I like about studying at CDU is the wide access students have to library resources, which makes doing research a lot easier” Elinor said.

When she graduates from CDU, Elinor hopes to find work addressing issues affecting Indigenous people, and to complete a research project working directly with Indigenous peoples and communities.

CDU is dedicated to embracing Indigenous Knowledges and perspectives into all aspects of the University by participation in ethical research with communities to develop sustainable livelihoods and preservation of knowledge; providing unique courses in Indigenous culture, history, policy and language. Explore our courses

Explore 300+ courses

Certificates, diplomas and degrees

Hear more from CDU

Keep up-to-date with key dates, study tips, student stories and more.

Related Articles

  • Harita smiling in front of a view of the ocean

    Power(ful) play: Why Harita is studying Indigenous languages

    Criminal defence lawyer Harita Sridhar is passionate about helping and engaging with Indigenous communities. She started her career with a law degree and is now going a step further with a postgraduate certificate in Indigenous Knowledges at CDU.

    Read more about Power(ful) play: Why Harita is studying Indigenous languages
  • Indigenous lady sitting on a rock and smiling

    Finding the elusive little people

    Tales of fairies, elves and “little people” are common folklore around the world, but despite their ubiquity they are rarely seen. Their names differ, but beliefs passed across generations are rich with stories that feature these elusive beings.

    Read more about Finding the elusive little people
  • meet cdu indigenous female trailblazers from naidoc week

    Meet CDU's Indigenous female Trailblazers

    From its very foundations, Indigenous women have contributed to making this University what it is today – they have inspired, driven change and shown pathways for staff and students, and we proudly acknowledge them all. Read the inspiring stories of eight such amazing Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women who walked ahead, but always together.

    Read more about Meet CDU's Indigenous female Trailblazers