The Community Resources Indigenous Scholarship Fund

This year, Homebase Services had the good fortune to work closely with Brad Germon (Deputy Principal) & Bob Henry (Principal) of the Great Lakes Senior Campus, organising the Community Resources Indigenous Scholarship Fund.

The fund has been designed to help Aboriginal students with financial support for their studies, and in November 2015 we interviewed eight students.

Tye Johnston in particular was a recipient and his interview for this year’s Annual Report 2016 gives us some insight to his dreams and goals, as well as shows us just how important and appreciated these funds are to his education.

How is year 12 going for you at the moment?

I’m enjoying it, the workload can get to you sometimes, but I am just really enjoying it because it’s friends finishing their final year of school. It just feels amazing! I can’t really describe it. If you keep up with the workload it’s fine.

What do you want to study when you go to uni?

I am thinking of doing engineering and business, a combined degree. I am enjoying business studies quite a lot at the moment. Engineering and business are my favourite two things.

What is it about engineering that you like so much?

Problem-solving. You get to help people. You get given a problem and you are asked to solve it, and it helps people at the end of the day. And it is the bit about helping other people that I like so much about it.

“There is something about running my own business one day that is appealing to me too.”

With your business subjects, what is it about business studies that is so appealing to you?

I dunno, I just find it easy, because all that you have to do is remember the principles behind it and you are fine. There is something about running my own business one day that is appealing to me too. We had this assignment where we were asked to set up our own business in year 11. And I enjoyed doing that aspect at the time, the setup.

What type of business did you set up?

I started a 24 hour gym. There weren’t many of them around here at the time and I thought, ‘that would be cool!’.

You said that engineering can help people earlier. Do you think that business can help people too?

I went to an open day at University of Newcastle and I went to an accounting lecture and the professor spoke to us about how accounting could help a business owner track who had been stealing money from their business, you know, tracking the money trail and all that. And I thought that this was really cool, getting the bad guys through accounting.

What does the Community Resources Indigenous Scholarship mean to you?

It is kind of like another layer of motivation. It makes me want to do more, and be better. It’s kind of like inspiring to know that people look at me that way and it makes me want to improve on what I am already doing.

“My family helps me a lot with pressure and all that, but sometimes it does feel like there is a bit more on me.”

How do you feel about being viewed as a role model?

Sometimes it does feel like I have a bit more pressure on me, but then at other times I guess I don’t feel any at all. My family helps me a lot with pressure and all that, but sometimes it does feel like there is a bit more on me.

What do you do to deal with pressure?

Usually I just go outside, have a breather, play footy outside. We live on a few acres, so getting the brothers out and kicking the footy around de-stresses me a lot.

What do you hope to do when you finish university?

I haven’t really thought about it, but something along the lines of helping people out I guess? I want to do something that helps others.

Which universities are you leaning towards attending?

Sydney University, because I liked the vibe there, and the engineering faculty were really nice. As well as the fact that it is so different from here in terms of the lifestyle and all that. And also their degrees are some of the best in the country.

I am looking at Newcastle as well because it is a bit closer to home and maybe easier for me to keep closer contact with friends and family. It is different enough to feel the change too I think. They have a pretty good engineering and business degree I could do too.

“In the financial sense of things (the scholarship) relieved a bit of pressure on me. If I need accommodation at university it is going to cover that, as well as books too.”

With this scholarship, what has it done for you so far?

In the financial sense of things, it relieved a bit of pressure on me. If I need accommodation at university it is going to cover that, as well as books too. Really the most important things. It took away the stress of worrying about the affordability of things like that. The money has already helped me afford a suit for me to wear to scholarship applications which is a pretty important part of preparing for university.

Where did you get your suit from and what type is it?

It was from Yarad’s. It was just a plain black formal suit. It’s nice. Mum and Nan came with me to have a look and they made me try on all these different shirts…

What is great about growing up here and going to school in the Great Lakes?

Well, it is a bit smaller and not as big as other schools, so you kind of form a closer bond and friendship with all the people in year 12. You kind of all help each other out, lift each other up, and I like that close-knit group that has formed.

What message do you have for the people who have put money into this scholarship scheme?

Thank you. I can’t really say much more. I think that ‘thank you’ covers it quite well! Yeah, thank you is all that comes to mind.