Becki Cook, who graduated with a Master of Education and Professional Studies Research degree in 2021, presented her research last week at the World Indigenous Peoples Conference in Adelaide this year.

Becki says:

“My presentation focussed on highlighting from students’ perspectives how engaging with GUMURRII positively impacted not only their university experience and academic success but created a sense of belonging, connection to culture and enhanced students access and awareness to opportunities such as research, internships and mentoring.”

This research was conceptualised while Becki was working at GUMURRII, using a series of in-depth interviews and cohort-wide surveys. It was an honour and privilege for Becki to be presenting at WIPCE.
“It is really special to be presenting at WIPCE. In most spaces Indigenous people, views and voices are the minority, but here at WIPCE we are the majority which creates a really special and safe place to share knowledge. Highlights included learning about Sami language and culture, hearing how Tokelauans in Aotearoa are using digital technolgy to connect to culture, language and their family in Tokelau and Distinguished Professor Marcia Langton speaking about constitutional change and creating an Indigenous Voice to Parliament.”
On her research project, Becki says:
“We wanted to ensure that that  tailoring services to meet student’s needs and attract more students to the unit. This research shows that First Peoples Students engage with Indigenous Education Units like GUMURRII for reasons far beyond traditional reasons such as support and tutoring. The unit creates a space where students can access opportunities that enhance their university experience, facilitates academic success and connects them to each other, it provides a sense of belonging.”
Becki’s project was co-supervised by Dr Ali Sammel and Dr Sue Whatman (GIER), who also co-developed the paper behind the poster with Becki. This poster highlights student’s perspectives and shares their points of view on what is important to them in their university engagement. It was a fantastic opportunity for Becki to present these findings with First Nations’ scholars around the world.