My experience with GUMURRII
Hi, I’m Tayla Collins. I am a Kabi Kabi, Gureng Gureng and Wakka Wakka woman currently in my third year of studying a Bachelor of Laws and Bachelor of Arts (Islam-West Relations) at Griffith’s Nathan campus (located on unceded Jagera country).
For many Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people going to university is an exciting and life-changing experience, but it does come with its challenges.
That’s why I think it’s so important for universities to allocate resources and funding to invest in the success of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students.
At Griffith University, the GUMURRII Student Success Unit (located on each campus), is a culturally safe space for Aboriginal and Torres Islander students to access support, study in a quiet space, or just hang out and meet other mob.
GUMURRII offers Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students a variety of services and programs, including:
- Direct entry
- Hands Up! – a pre-orientation program directed at preparing commencing students for university
- ATSITAP – students can access 1 hour of tutoring a week per subject
- Academic support – Student Success Officers are able to liaise with course convenors and provide assistance in requesting assessment extensions, deferring exams and other administrative needs.
- Wellbeing and financial support
- Accessing external programs (CareerTrackers, AIME, recruitment services etc.)
How GUMURRII has helped me
Personally, balancing uni with my family and cultural obligations has been challenging and overwhelming. Constantly having sorry business and other family commitments has, at times, put constraints on my ability to focus on completing coursework and maintaining my grades. Luckily, in these stressful moments, I have been assisted by the amazing Student Success Officers who’ve helped me successfully apply for extensions and deferred exams.
Also, last year GUMURRII kindly covered my travel costs when I was nominated to attend the UATSIS Conference in Canberra.
My advice for new uni students
University has been a very unfamiliar and rewarding experience for me. My advice for mob wanting to or commencing their studies is:
- Don’t be shame to ask for help! The quicker you ask, the smaller your problem will be.
- Be more involved in uni by participating in extra-curricular activities and programs.
- Don’t be discouraged if you make a mistake or fail, always remember why you started.
- Reward yourself!
- Always be grateful for our old people who fought for us to have the opportunity to attend university.
By Tayla Collins