Israel Bundjuri – AVCAT Scholar

My father was so proud to hear that his son was studying at Curtin University. He never thought fighting for his country could have a positive impact on his children in enhancing their education since returning from the Vietnam War.

By Israel Bundjuri

Israel with his father Edward James Jarden

Before receiving the Long Tan Bursary, I attended Curtin University at the Centre for Aboriginal Studies. My degree is a Bachelor of Applied Science in Indigenous Community Management & Development. An analysis of First Nation men, women and children revealed 67% were incarcerated. This has enabled me to focus on my studies to establish a base for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community organisations. This will reduce domestic violence, alcohol and other drugs and recidivism.

Even though my dad is currently at the Keith Payne Unit at Greenslopes Private Hospital, which specialises in post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), my father was so proud to hear that his son was studying at Curtin University. He never thought fighting for his country could have a positive impact on his children in enhancing their education since returning from the Vietnam War. It made me feel honoured that he is my father and encourages his grandchildren.

Passing and completing 2022 was an excellent achievement for me and my family. Now in 2023, receiving the scholarship has enabled me to engage and enhance my studies. Talking to Dad on Father’s Day was a fantastic way to say thank you for being my dad. I really appreciate his support and belief in me. I’m also very grateful for the scholarship and the opportunity to further my studies. Overall, I am thankful for my father, family and the scholarship that allowed me to continue my studies.

I am looking forward to this learning experience as I progress through my studies. As part of my career goals, I will develop programs and projects. I will initiate leadership processes, promote values and principles in communities, and develop my life skills. I will also gain a better understanding of my strengths and weaknesses. I am creating a portfolio of accomplishments that will enhance my career aspirations. I will also gain the skills and knowledge necessary to become an effective leader.

Therefore, community projects produce an excellent communication tool between current and future generations. The knowledge expanded after community Elders told their stories about the Stolen Generation and growing up around colonial violence. In addition, they asked for forgiveness for the colonial violence they experienced with missionaries at many of the missions.

Words cannot express my gratitude. To the Keith Payne Unit at Greenslopes, it is much more than a job. It is truly a calling for all these incredible individuals and teams of people who care for my father, which was nothing short of a miracle.

Thank you to the Long Tan Bursary and Australian Veterans’ Children Assistance Trust for supporting us financially. It has been a tremendous help and started something awesome. To all of you with grateful hearts, God bless you all.

Israel was awarded the Long Tan Bursary in 2023.

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