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Bond University event to showcase Indigenous talent

Bond University on the Gold Coast is fast delivering on its quest to become the leading Indigenous student tertiary education centre in Australia with a host of new scholarships to be announced at a special gala event on Friday 18 October.

The annual event, which raises money for Indigenous scholarships and support programs will be a showcase of Indigenous talent from art to music and storytelling.

Pro Vice-Chancellor, Pathways and Partnerships, Catherine O'Sullivan said guests should be prepared for an evening of entertainment.

MC for the evening will be Accor Scholarship Recipient Nathias Warkill and live music will be provided by AIME Program Manager and winner of the 2013 Triple J Unearthed Indigenous category, Robbie Miller.

"The event is a celebration of Indigenous culture and will include a story telling by Leanne Wilson, a poetry performance by Leroy Wilson and the auction of six selected Indigenous art pieces," Ms O'Sullivan said.

Former Queensland State of Origin representative and new student at Bond, Scott Prince will also be a special guest at the event, along with the co-author of his new book 'Deadly D and Justice Jones: making the team', David Hartley.

Ms O'Sullivan said while the event traditionally raised money through the auctioning of Indigenous art, this year the University has already secured funds from a range of corporate sponsors.

"This year's event will be bigger and better than ever before," she said.

"The money from the art auction and corporate sponsors will go towards Indigenous Scholarships, the Nyombil Centre and the Australian Indigenous Mentoring Experience program at Bond.

“As a private, not-for-profit University, we don't receive any government funding for our Indigenous education initiatives and rely on the support of individuals and organisations to help us continue to provide these life changing opportunities.”

Bond Vice-Chancellor and President, Professor Tim Brailsford said Bond University was intent on leading the way for Indigenous education in Australia.

"Currently Indigenous students make up just 1.4 percent of all enrolments at Australian universities," he said.

"Our goal is to see that number increase significantly and we have implemented a range of services to help Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students make the transition to university life with relative ease."

The Nyombil Centre, which opened in September 2012, provides academic and cultural support to assist Indigenous students to overcome the unique challenges they may face when relocating from remote communities.

"Quite often this is the first time these students have been away from their families and combined with the challenge of university study, it can become difficult for them to adjust," Professor Brailsford said.

"The Nyombil Centre helps to connect students to the local Indigenous elders and community which provides them with a sense of comfort and support."

Bond University also has more than 100 student volunteers involved in the AIME program, the Bond Indigenous Awareness Society (BIAS), Kununurra Youth Program and Career Trackers Indigenous Internship Program.

Bond’s Indigenous Program and the Indigenous Gala Event would not be possible without the generous support of the following Corporate Partners:

• Scholarship Partners - Accor, Indigenous Land Corporation, Sunland Foundation.

• Corporate Partners - ISS Facility Services, Former Origin Greats Queensland, Newell Consulting Engineers, Pindara Private Hospital, Hickey Lawyers, ANZ and Technology One.

All proceeds from the evening will go towards supporting Bond University's Indigenous programs.

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