Southern Cross University announces hundreds of scholarships are available for Indigenous students in 2022

Anthony Olive, Team Leader of the Indigenous Australian Student Services (IASS) at Southern Cross University, said the North Coast (Bundjalung Country) based institution is proud of its strong Indigenous cohort, and is continually working to increase Indigenous student participation in higher education through personalised support and decreasing financial barriers.

‘On average our IASS team at Southern Cross University supports more than 400 Indigenous students annually with some form of scholarship,” Mr Olive said.

‘These scholarships are deeply appreciated and very meaningful to our Indigenous student cohort, ranging from textbook bursaries of $150 right up to full time educational and accommodation scholarships of $2,500 and $5,000, and in 2022 these will increase to a top of $8,000 a year over three years, with an increased Indigenous scholarship pool worth more than $1million.

‘These scholarships make up part of the wider scholarship pool worth approximately $3million in 2022.’

Masks, lockdowns and check-ins. These were the defining features of 2021.

Like so much of the country the NSW North Coast had lived in relative isolation until late autumn this year when Delta’s dawn exposed the first cracks in fortress Australia.  

It started innocently enough in June when an unvaccinated limousine driver transporting airline crew tested positive in Bondi. The state’s COVID-19 vaccination program had begun but supplies were limited and even individuals at high risk of getting the infection had not begun vaccinations. It did not seem too much of a concern, however. We had done it all before with Ruby Princess and Crossroads and this would come under control as well. 

It was not to be. This was the highly infectious Delta strain and NSW Health soon had to inform the NSW public that this time it was serious and more particularly it was going to get worse, not better. 

Rail Trail map

Everything but trains will run on the ‘recycled’ railway line connecting Casino with the Tweed from late 2022.

It’s been a long wait for those lobbying for a Northern Rivers Rail Trail but at last funding has come through to allow planning and construction to begin, with legislative changes in place to make it happen.

In October 2021 Kevin Hogan MP announced the allocation of $9.9 million in funding to build the Bentley to Lismore section. Both the Tweed end and the Casino end of the Rail Trail (24km and 16km respectively) are under construction and will be accessible by late next year.

When complete, the 130km Rail Trail will pass through some of the most scenic countryside in NSW, connecting Murwillumbah, Byron Bay, Bangalow, Lismore and Casino.

Like rail trails elsewhere, the local version should be a drawcard for walkers, hikers, runners, cyclists and horse riders, following the old North Coast railway line. It will offer a unique way to explore the region while helping to preserve the area’s history and heritage.

Former Lismore City Councillor Glenys Ritchie has been lobbying for the Rail Trail for more than a decade and is active on the committee of Northern Rivers Rail Trail Inc. She has cycled on rail trails overseas and says they are beneficial for both physical and mental health and wellbeing.

‘The Rail Trail offers wonderful outdoor recreation. I’m a cyclist but not a hills person, so the Rail Trail suits me because it’s relatively flat and I know it’s achievable. It’s just nice to ride or walk, as you see things that you don’t see when you are in a car.

Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime, Stan, Apple TV,  SBS, iView, Disney, Discovery+, Binge, MUBI  and of course YouTube. These streaming services are part of our daily lives. Australians  spend 40 hours per week online, as much time as they do at work! For many in COVID-19  times, being online is being at work.

And it is all made possible by the National Broadband Network, an initiative of the Rudd Labor government in the noughties to provide high speed internet connections to Australian households and businesses. The roll out was accelerated (or cannibalised depending on your viewpoint) a few years later by the still very public Malcolm Turnbull when Communication Minister in the Abbott government. 

Australia ranks 62 in the world for internet speed, comparatively slow for a developed nation but fast enough to allow for a couple of simultaneous Netflix streams. 

Important Announcement - FORUM 

An open forum will be held on Zoom concerning the care of COVID-19 positive patients in the community.

Date: 18 November

Time: 7.00 to 8.00pm

The forum is accessed via Zoom.

Why is it important for GPs to attend? It is an opportunity for you and your colleagues to get your questions answered.

Questions such as:

  • How is COVID-19 currently being managed?
  • How will it affect GPs and their practices?
  • What is the likely impact on General Practice as we move towards a "COVID normal” state?
  • How will the tertiary and primary sectors integrate management?