Vinnie Kinchela | UniSC | University of the Sunshine Coast, Queensland, Australia

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Vinnie Kinchela

Bachelor of Social Work student

My inspiration for studying at USC came when I decided that if I really wanted to make a difference that I should not wait for someone to take up my dreams. I want to be a social worker because I believe it is the best way for me to encourage more self-determination and to help those in need. I believe that First Nations people are capable of great things. I do feel that we as First Nations people need a greater voice in decision making.

Studying at university has definitely improved my ability to express my opinions. I have demonstrated the power of knowledge when used in combination with the wisdom of Elders and community.

At USC I am involved with student and other social justice groups to promote the notion of equity for all people. I am also involved with USC committees and other areas of the university decision-making. I am working to ensure that student and Indigenous voices are not forgotten.

I am a proud man from Wiradjuri nation down in NSW. I moved to the Sunshine Coast about four and half years ago. I wanted to go to university in order to change my life direction. I am the first out of my immediate family to study at university, which can feel overwhelming at times.

I want to complete postgraduate studies and work as a social worker on the Sunshine Coast. I think it is important to give back to the community on the Sunshine Coast that has been so welcoming and open with me.

If any of you mob out there have thought about studying here at USC, I hope my story can help you decide on making that decision. If you decide to study at USC then there is plenty of support available at USC and the staff in the Buranga Centre are the deadliest people. We have our own awesome student Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community here on campus that are always welcoming and look out for each other.