Last week I was grateful to be able to attend the Nurra Gili Winter School at the University of NSW. Applications for the program were received from over 300 Aboriginal students from Years 10 to 12 from all over Australia, with only 111 successful applicants.

My experience at the Winter School was a taster of what University has in store for me. Our timetables were full with lectures and talks about possible future careers, and I had the opportunity to learn about the possibilities available for me in social work. It was also an opportunity to listen to others speak about what it means to be Aboriginal and the importance of our culture. It was a tough week emotionally, physically and spiritually, but it was an amazing experience to be a part of something where our people were standing strong together.

I have met so many amazing people through my experience, which encourages me to further my education. One medicine student who shared his amazing journey with us at the graduation dinner said his story isn’t unique – there are so many like him yet success stories don’t seem to gain enough attention.

This was honestly one of the best weeks of my life, and I would recommend it to other Aboriginal students in Years 10, 11 and 12 next year who wish to further their education.

Story and photographs by Year 12 student, Kadina Barker