Skip to main content
Start of main content.

Bond graduate inspired Indigenous activist heritage

Growing up in a family that included Australia's most prominent Indigenous land rights activist, it is little wonder Hannah Duncan has set her sights on a career advocating for the rights of others.

The 21-year-old, the granddaughter of the late Eddie Mabo - who was instrumental in the landmark High Court decision that characterised Australia's law regarding native land and title - is already well on her way to achieving her ultimate ambition, after graduating from Bond University.

Hannah, who studied at Bond through an Indigenous Scholarship, is one of the largest cohorts of Indigenous students to graduate in a single semester at Bond University with a total of 68 students currently completing their studies at the private Gold Coast university.

With a 96 per cent Indigenous student retention rate, Bond University performs well above Australia's average national Indigenous retention rate of 71 per cent and national non-Indigenous retention rate of 80.8 per cent.

Bond and its corporate partners have channelled more than $4 million into the university's Indigenous Scholarship program in the past five years alone, which has seen both student numbers and retention rates continue to climb.

Hannah, who was an executive member and President of Bond's Student Society for Indigenous Awareness, has just completed a Bachelor of Laws and is now embarking on her Graduate Diploma in Legal Practice, also at Bond University, which is the next step in becoming a practising lawyer.

She said she aspired to follow in her grandfather's footsteps and is already well on her way, beginning a placement at the Administrative Appeals Tribunal in Brisbane.

"I like the area of public law and the formation of the Tribunal, with its ability to help people," said Hannah.

"I feel that if I work in this area, I will be able to build my skills in dispute resolution methods, such as negotiation and mediation, to be able to give back to the community.

"In order to get where I would like to be, the first step is completing my Practical Legal Training and my placement at the Administrative Appeals Tribunal.

"I'm excited and nervous to see what is ahead but I am confident that if I work hard I will get where I need to be, and achieve my ultimate goal of making a difference."

Hannah said the atmosphere and people at Bond had helped her transition to university life with ease.  

"I have absolutely loved my time at Bond and have really felt a part of a community, with the opportunity to be involved in so many clubs," she said.

"I am part of the women's AFL team and have participated in multiple legal skills competitions.

"Bond has provided me with experiences that have enabled me to develop my ability and my character. I am very grateful for the opportunity I was given and look forward to the future."

Catherine O'Sullivan, Pro Vice-Chancellor, Pathways and Partnerships at Bond University, said Hannah was a fantastic role model in the bid to 'close the gap' between the percentage of Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians completing higher education.

"Over the past five years, Bond and its corporate partners have invested more than $4.18 million into scholarships, support services and outreach programs for Indigenous students, and the positive outcomes are becoming evident," she said. 

"At the same time, there is still a long way to go and a lot more time and effort is needed to ensure that Indigenous Australians benefit from the same opportunities as the non-Indigenous population.

"Hannah is just one example of the inspiring young people who have been part of Bond's Indigenous Scholarship program in recent years and it has been a pleasure to have her on campus.

"I wish her the best for the next chapter of her education and career, and know she will be a success in her future endeavours."

More from Bond

  • Bond athletes clean up at Sports Star awards

    The Gold Coast Sports Star of the Year awards resembled the University Blues as Bond athletes took home a swag of honours.

    Read article
  • Bull Sharks stun premiers in round one upset

    The Bond University first grade side has made the perfect start to their 2023 campaign, defeating the Wests Bulldogs 32-17.

    Read article
  • Politics at heart of housing crisis

    Australia’s housing crisis isn’t the fault of dodgy developers and greedy landlords, it’s a product of politics and poor leadership, says a Bond University property expert.

    Read article
  • In pictures: Bull Sharks rugby season launch

    Bond University Rugby launched their 2023 season with a breakfast at the Fabian Fay Clubhouse.

    Read article
  • A student's perspective on technology in elite sports

    Medical student and cricketer Benjamin Rainbird gains new insights into the use of technology in sports during a debate featuring Usman Khawaja.

    Read article
Previous Next