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Moving with strength to pave the way

04/07/2024 |

Discover how Indigenous students at UWA embrace this year's NAIDOC theme, "Keep the Fire Burning! Blak, Loud and Proud," while forging their academic and professional paths.

At UWA, we acknowledge and celebrate NAIDOC Week and the important role First Nations people play in shaping a better and shared future.  We are committed to this year’s theme, ‘Keep the Fire Burning! Blak, Loud and Proud.’ 

Meet Jasmin

Jasmin Bentink, a Yued woman from Denmark, is studying a Bachelor of Environmental Science, majoring in Environmental Science and Management, as well as a Bachelor of Science, majoring in Zoology.  

“UWA’s well known for its high-quality natural and biological science courses and outstanding postgraduate research opportunities,” Jasmin said.  

“The strong support network at SIS (UWA’s School of Indigenous Studies) fosters a sense of community and belonging, and feels like a home away from home, especially important for someone like me who’s not originally from Perth.”  

Jasmin has just completed her first year at UWA and said highlights included taking an internship unit, which provided hands-on experience in her field as well as the opportunity to expand her knowledge in the Global Ocean Challenges unit.  

“This particular unit was an amazing experience, as it allowed me to learn from both academics and industry experts about pressing environmental issues on a global scale,” Jasmin said.  

“These experiences have not only enhanced my academic journey but also prepared me for future professional endeavours.” 

Jasmin has joined the Students of Natural and Agricultural Science club and signed up to be a UniMentor and SIS student ambassador as well as playing social sports.  

She said this year’s NADIOC theme, Keep the Fire Burning! Blak, Loud and Proud, was a reminder of the importance of standing together as a community, supporting one another, and never letting the fire of spirit and identity fade.  

“For hundreds of thousands of years, my culture has persevered through immense challenges and adversities, continuously maintaining our traditions and values,” Jasmin said. 

To me, ‘Keep the Fire Burning’ means continuing the fight for recognition, rights and justice for Indigenous people, especially in land rights and caring for Country, something that I’m particularly passionate about.”



Meet Ellie 

Ellie Moir

Ellie Moir, a Noongar woman who completed a Bachelor of Psychology and a Master of Social Work, is a PhD student working to improve social and emotional wellbeing through connections to Country for Aboriginal people. 

I want to help Aboriginal children, so others might have the opportunity that I have had to thrive in whatever they wished to do”

“I also had family that had attended UWA and spoke highly of the support offered by SIS to Aboriginal students, and the quality of the teaching.” 

Although still studying, Ellie has been working for the University as a research assistant for the past few years and has started lecturing in some units. 

“This has been an amazing opportunity UWA has offered me to do alongside my studies,” Ellie said. 

The NAIDOC Week theme resonates with Ellie as it speaks to the importance that the whole of Australia be called on to amplify the voices of Aboriginal peoples. 

“Indigenous culture is something to be proud of and being Aboriginal is a strength,” Ellie said. 

Our culture is strong, despite the impacts of colonisation and the Stolen Generations, and it always will be.”


Meet Kahli 

Kahli Regan, a Wongi and Noongar woman, joined UWA last year through an Indigenous entry pathway, developed by the School of Psychological Sciences in partnership with SIS, to study a Bachelor of Psychology (Honours).

“My thesis focused on exploring the perceptions of Cultural Safety of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and non-Indigenous consumers and practitioners of mental health services,” Kahli said.  

“This led me to want to further explore Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander mental health and social and emotional wellbeing.”  

This year, Kahli embarked on a PhD and Master of Clinical Psychology. She aims to explore the facilitators and barriers surrounding access to mental health services for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander young people and their families as a part of the Healing Kids, Healing Families team at Telethon Kids Institute.  

Kahli said NAIDOC Week’s theme, which honours the enduring strength and vitality of First Nations culture, was especially important considering the outcome of the Voice Referendum.  

“We need to keep the conversations going and we need to keep standing proud in our culture, even though it may feel that there is so much against us,” she said.  

We have our culture, our connections and our beautiful Country that we can be proud of and that helps motivate our mob."


With pathways into UWA’s undergraduate and postgraduate courses, and the entire community behind students each step of the way, UWA is proud to be supporting our Indigenous students to build skills and connections for career success. 

Learn more about our Indigenous scholarships and entry pathways, including experienced-based entry and bridging program, the Aboriginal Orientation Course, at  

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