IBA helps make education dreams a reality
Completing a university degree while working and caring for two children may seem like an impossible feat, but with the right support Darwin mother Yvette Carolin now knows anything is possible.
The Yanyuwa/Jawoyn woman recently graduated from Charles Darwin University with a Bachelor of Commerce and can’t wait to use her new skills and knowledge to help promote employment and new economic opportunities in her community.
Yvette hopes to be a role model for other Indigenous Australians, inspiring them to ‘reward’ themselves with tertiary education.
“I really want to convey that you are not compromising yourself or your culture by pursuing individual study and employment opportunities,” she said.
“This is what our families grew us to be… We can look up to each other, be our own role models and be proud of it. To be strong, to be empowered and all you can be – that’s our way forward.”
When Yvette commenced her studies in 1998 she was only able to undertake one subject per semester, making her studies a very slow process. But that all changed with the help of Indigenous Business Australia.
Yvette qualified for a scholarship through the IBA Scholarship Fund, which allowed her to work fewer hours and switch to full time study.
“I worked out that if IBA hadn’t supported me, it [the degree] would have taken me another nine years,” Yvette said.
Not having to work as much while studying was a huge help, but Yvette said there was still plenty of life juggling to be done.
“When it came to managing my family and cultural obligations with everything else, I really had to think about it,” she said.
“But what it came down to for me was managing relationships and managing moments. So when I was at work I had to focus on work and I had to achieve my objectives there. With motherhood, well, you’ve got no choice; that overrides everything, so you have to factor that into every moment.
“But in each of those arenas of home, work, study, family and friends, you’ve got to keep your networks because they are also your support group.”
During her school days, Yvette excelled at sport, and believes the skills and attitudes she developed during that time helped her adapt to university life.
“I’m saying to my mob out there that you can use your sports background and transfer those skills and attitudes into a study environment,” Yvette said.
“So, turning up to training on time, that’s assignments. Interpersonal skills and talking to coaches, that’s your lecturers. Your supporters are your network who are actually encouraging you, and that’s IBA. IBA has been a great supporter in the crowd for me.”