IBA Scholarship Fund assists Indigenous students in achieving dreams for themselves and their communities
This case study has been developed by Indigenous Business Australia (IBA). Read below to find out how Sharon Ah Chee reached her goals with the help of the IBA Scholarship Fund.
Sharon Ah Chee graduated in June 2012 with a Bachelor of Business from the Bachelor Institute of Indigenous Tertiary Education in the Northern Territory, with help from a scholarship from IBA.
Sharon was committed to completing her degree with the Bachelor Institute as they educate through the ‘both-ways philosophy’, a style of learning that focuses on Indigenous perspectives and includes both cultural and mainstream business and management techniques.
Sharon commenced her studies in 2009 before being awarded an IBA scholarship in 2011. As Sharon was working full time she initially enrolled as a part time student, which would have seen her completing her degree in 2015. In 2011, with the support of an IBA scholarship, Sharon changed to full time study allowing her to complete her course early and graduate in 2012.
“Without the assistance of my IBA scholarship I would never have finished my degree, it allowed me the time to concentrate on full time studies and gave me the assurance that my home life was taken care of,” she says.
The IBA Scholarship Fund assists mature-age Indigenous students to complete tertiary education in business, finance and commerce, attaining skills and knowledge that will enhance the future economic and financial development of the Indigenous community. The Fund provides up to $20,000 for each year of study to successful scholarship recipients to relieve the financial burden of studying for an undergraduate or postgraduate qualification.
Sharon has a strong focus on her Indigenous community and now that she has finished her degree she would like to use her new skills to guide and assist Indigenous corporations with their businesses. She also looks forward to working with another IBA Scholarship Fund recipient in the future to develop Indigenous women’s business forums.
Sharon views tertiary education as an important way for Indigenous Australians to bring positive changes to their lives as well as those of their family and community and encourages Indigenous students to apply for an IBA scholarship.