University of Newcastle academic Liz Cameron is one of 27 Indigenous Education Ambassadors announced by the Australian Government, charged with promoting the value of education.
The program involves successful Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people visiting schools, TAFE colleges, universities and community organisations throughout Australia to highlight the value of education to young indigenous people.
Ambassadors share their personal stories and explain how they overcame obstacles to their own success. They also promote positive messages about education as a pathway to higher education, a job, or starting a business.
“Building pathways for indigenous Australians in seeking further educational opportunities has been my passion and life goal,” she said.
“As a volunteer ambassador I will be meeting with young people of all ages around the country to share my personal experiences and journeys in education and hopefully motivate students and community members about the value and limitless possibilities in tertiary education.”
As the University’s indigenous enabling program (Yapug) coordinator Ms Cameron runs the program designed to help Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people gain skills for entry into undergraduate degrees at the University of Newcastle. Prior to that role Ms Cameron was a student support and development counsellor, providing a range of support mechanisms to students in all courses at the University.
Ms Cameron originally trained as a nurse and teacher and has taught at two TAFEs, specialising in working with teenagers considered at high risk of dropping out of the education system. Before joining the University she completed a Postgraduate Certificate in Indigenous Social Health. She is now doing her masters on Social Indigenous Arts and Health.
The recent induction of 27 new participants into the program has boosted the total number to 41, giving more young people across Australia the opportunity to meet the Ambassadors and be inspired by their successes.