New scholarship makes RMIT home for Indigenous students

New scholarship makes RMIT home for Indigenous students

A generous gift from student accommodation developer Cedar Pacific is providing accommodation scholarships to Indigenous students at Unilodge Royal Melbourne.

The $1 million gift has provided 10 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students with scholarship support for up to three consecutive years, covering accommodation as well as pastoral care and support to complete their studies.

Bachelor of Applied Science (Aviation) student Ariana Kikkert said the scholarship had empowered her to take a big leap and move interstate from regional Tasmania in pursuit of her passion.

“It’s reassuring to know that I have a home away from home. This scholarship is a true aid and makes me feel as though it is not just myself being supported, but also my family.”

“Life at Unilodge Royal Melbourne has been even better than I’d expected and I’ve been quick to meet fellow Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders and other residents who, like me, are just starting their university journey.”

The Unilodge Indigenous Accommodation Scholarships will provide students with residences at Unilodge Royal Melbourne in North Melbourne.

Tomas Johnsson, Chief Executive Officer of Unilodge Australia said university years were exceptionally formative, both for academic advancement and personal growth, and Unilodge was privileged to play a part in the journey of so many students.

“We have always valued our relationship with RMIT and feel that we are strongly aligned in our desire for students to succeed,” he said.

“I can’t think of a better custodian than RMIT and we wish our students the very best and look forward to following their development with great interest.”

Cedar Pacific was established by Pamoja Capital, an investment firm founded by John McCall MacBain. As part of its portfolio, Pamoja Capital, manages the funds for the McCall MacBain Foundation.

The Foundation focuses on supporting education and scholarships, climate change and environment, and health, and to date has committed over $400 million to initiatives supporting these focus areas.

The Unilodge Indigenous Accommodation Scholarships are designed to support students to pursue further education and encourage personal and professional wellbeing and growth.

The first scholarships were awarded this year to students from a number of disciplines including science, engineering, communication, business and fashion. They will continue to be awarded in 2021 and 2022, with funding for the final group concluding in 2024.

 

Story: Grace Taylor

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RMIT University acknowledges the people of the Woi wurrung and Boon wurrung language groups of the eastern Kulin Nation on whose unceded lands we conduct the business of the University. RMIT University respectfully acknowledges their Ancestors and Elders, past and present. RMIT also acknowledges the Traditional Custodians and their Ancestors of the lands and waters across Australia where we conduct our business.