“I can’t wait to meet other Oriel alumni back in Australia – incredible people who I might never have had the chance to connect with had I not come to this fantastic College.”
What made you decide to study at Oxford?
Many reasons. One is that I wanted to get out of my intellectual bubble and experience different ways of problem solving and researching. Another is that I wanted to learn from the many experts in political philosophy here at Oxford so that I could bring this knowledge back to Australia and use it to remedy the social, political and economic disparities between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians.
Why did you choose your course?
Aboriginal people – my people – have some of the worst social, political and economic outcomes of any ethnic minority within the developed nations of the world. From wealth and income, to education, infant mortality, and life expectancy. We are also severely underrepresented in politics. Much has been done to remedy these issues from the perspective of policy science and development studies, but to little effect. The reason for this, I believe, is due to the fact that no one is asking the more fundamental questions within Aboriginal politics. By studying political philosophy (political theory), I hope to change this.
“I plan to use my MPhil thesis to explore how language is used to socially and politically disenfranchise and exclude Aboriginal people from intellectual and democratic discourse.”
What are your subject/research interests?
Right now, my primary research interest is Aboriginal Justice. I plan to use my MPhil thesis to explore how language is used to socially and politically disenfranchise and exclude Aboriginal people from intellectual and democratic discourse. However, I am also interested in broader questions regarding Aboriginal justice: what does justice for Aboriginal people look like? Does it look like land rights? Remedying the disparities in economic outcomes? Both? Neither? Massive amounts of public money is spent on Aboriginal justice, yet no one has ever really probed the contents of that political conception. I hope to change that with my research, and be a guiding light for policy and legislation that tries to remedy the many injustices that have been committed against Indigenous people in Australia.
How did you find the application process, and do you have any advice for others preparing to apply?
The application process is relatively stress free if you talk to someone at Oxford or your current University about your application. They will help you understand the process, and how different parts of your application might be weighted. For me, I was told that my writing samples would be one of the most important aspects of my application, so I really made sure that those were well polished. At the end of the day though, the most important thing is to be brave and have a shot.
Did you specify a college on your application? (If so, why and if not why not?)
I did not. When it came to college selection on my application, I said that I was happy to be put anywhere; I thought to myself “if I’m lucky enough to get into Oxford, I don’t care where I go!” I am fortunate in that I ended up at Oriel College, where I feel warm and welcomed.
“You get to be a part of an intimate community of vibrant and intellectually diverse individuals.”
What do you think the benefits of the collegiate system are for postgraduate students?
One of the great benefits is that you get to be a part of an intimate community of vibrant and intellectually diverse individuals. This means that you don’t get stuck in your department bubble; you meet people who are studying vastly different things, and you learn from them. It creates a space in which people bring different perspectives on life, and on study, which not only makes for great individual growth, but also makes the community itself more inclusive.
What do you enjoy about being a member of Oriel’s MCR community?
I really like how social the community is! Everyone is so friendly and up for a chat in between their work. There is never a dull moment in this MCR, that’s for sure. The clubs are also great, and who doesn’t enjoy Oriel bar night!? In honesty, it’s hard not to love Oriel’s MCR community.
What do you like the most about being an Orielensis?
The fact that my journey within the Oriel community has only just begun! You do not get many alumni networks as active as this one. I can’t wait to meet other Oriel alumni back in Australia – incredible people who I might never have had the chance to connect with had I not come to this fantastic College. I adore the fact that one truly is an Orielensis for life.