My name is Teresa (Tess) Ryan, and I am a strong Indigenous woman of Biripi country
My name is Teresa (Tess) Ryan, and I am a strong Indigenous woman of Biripi country in New South Wales. I am a mature aged student, studying a BA in Communications and Media Studies at the University of Canberra. I am a single parent and have a number of health issues, which at times make study difficult. However, I have always achieved excellent results whilst at University. The International Scholar Laureate Program is a program sending students of a high academic calibre overseas to experience their areas of study in a different cultural environment. I have been nominated to attend this program, and would be visiting China to experience the area of Diplomacy and International relations. As I am a high achieving student, with a strong interest in politics, government and the media, this would be a wonderful opportunity to widen my skills and knowledge, as well as witnessing another culture. My future goals are to work in an area of politics and government as an Indigenous representative. It is my wish that I encourage people to see Indigenous representation as something beyond what has been shown to us before, and I feel that I best embody someone who has overcome obstacles and issues relating to culture in order to stand up and succeed. I am a member of The Golden Key International Honour Society, and currently assist and mentor young, Indigenous students within my University. Being able to embark on this journey will not only increase the value of my education and expand my horizons, but also influence and motivate other Indigenous students to strive in their academic career. On my return, I am very interested in speaking to other students about closing the disparity in Indigenous education, instilling self belief and inspiring fellow students. Obtaining some sponsorship towards this program will enable me to put some monies towards the cost entailed in the itinerary, or alternatively contribute to the cost of living whilst over there. I am now preparing to hold some fundraising events within my Univeristy to get closer to China in 2011! the best part is the fact that, for too long I believed I wasn't smart, strong or good enough. Now I work hard to ensure other Indigenous people don't think in those terms.