Taplin travel fund helps to further Indigenous education
The Taplin Indigenous Bursary Fund made it possible for PhD candidate, Yvonne Clark, to attend an international psychology conference in Paris. Here she learnt from leaders in psychology from around the world, and shared with them the mental health issues facing Indigenous Australians today.
"Many overseas countries either know very little about Aboriginal people, or they have somewhat negative perceptions, so this was an opportunity to change that.”
“I was able to provide and share information about the issues impacting Aboriginal people, and to help foster positive initiatives in an overseas context,” says Yvonne.
As a full-time student, Yvonne would not have been able to attend the conference without a grant from the Taplin travel fund.
“I was grateful for the opportunity to learn about psychological initiatives from other cultures, appreciate our own initiatives, and gain professional development as a psychologist.”
Yvonne hopes her experience will inspire other Indigenous Australians with travel aspirations.
“I hope my achievements will enable me to serve as a role model. It is a dream to travel overseas and no-one in my family has ever travelled so widely. This hopefully shows that it is within many people’s reach if they want to pursue it.”
The Fund was set up by Emeritus Professor John Taplin, Pro Vice-Chancellor (International) from 2004 to 2011, following his retirement from the University.
The Taplin name has long been associated with helping Indigenous South Australians, with John’s great grandfather, Rev. George Taplin a strong advocate for the Ngarrindjeri people during the early colonial years.
John saw, first-hand, the benefits of an international education and was determined that opportunities to learn overseas were not denied to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander staff and students.
“During my time at the University, I became aware of a number of Indigenous study programs being offered by universities overseas which could be of interest to our Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students here,” says John.
“Without some form of fi nancial assistance, is likely that the overwhelming majority of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students and staff would be unable to undertake these programs,” he says.
“Ultimately, I hope that with the aid of this bursary and through other means, a new generation of Indigenous leaders will emerge who can demonstrate to the rest of the world that Australia is, in every sense, a multicultural country of equal opportunity.”
Since the introduction of the Taplin Indigenous Bursary in 2013, over 25 Indigenous staff and students have received grants of up to $5000 to travel overseas to further their education and training.