Social Work students make Indigenous connection

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Social Work students make Indigenous connection


USC student Jennie Briese and Nicole Copley at the entrance to Bighorn National Park in Wyoming

11 September 2014

A study tour to the mountainous American state of Wyoming has helped Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students from USC gain insights into the education and culture of another indigenous people.

The recent two-week trip involved USC Social Work students Justin Chilly, Jennie Briese and Keely Dewson, guided by Student Adviser Nicole Copley of USC’s Buranga Centre and Jordan Dwyer from USC’s chapter of AIME (Australian Indigenous Mentoring Experience).

Ms Copley, who is also a USC graduate, said the students were fascinated by their experiences with staff and students at the University of Wyoming in Laramie, a US town of 30,000 people.

She said it was interesting to experience both the differences and similarities in education and culture while strengthening USC’s relationship with its partner institution.

The University of Wyoming has a strong American Indian Studies Program and Teachers of American Indian Children Program.

“They have a fantastic list of courses for those who want to major or minor in Native American Indian studies and we learnt all about their services and support for Native American Indian students,” Ms Copley said.

“We also toured the Wind River Indian Reservation which manages its resources for the community.”

She said USC planned further Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander study trips abroad to help inform its own service provision and curriculum development.

— Julie Schomberg

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