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Take the first step in walking your own path

12/09/2022 | 3 MINS

For some of us, finding and following your passion in life, can be a scary thought. But not for Tiarnee Lester. Coming from a family with a strong matriarchy, Tiarnee has a lot of inspiring women guiding her in a direction she one day hopes to inspire other women follow.

“They led me to want to make a change in our community, to make a difference just like they have, and show the next generation of young women what is possible.”

Tiarnee is currently studying the Aboriginal Orientation Course with the hope to continue her studies next year in social science, focusing on Archaeology, Classics and Ancient History.

So how did Tiarnee find that passion? Firstly, by looking at the things that are most important to her – community, education and changing the lives of young Indigenous people.  

“I want to show the world what young Indigenous people are capable of and what we have to offer. In my schooling at university, I hope to educate myself so that I can help educate others in our community and show them a way to achieve what they want.”

If you’re unsure about what to study, what career to pursue or where you want to head in life, the best place to look is inward. Ask yourself what matters to you most – it could be anything from driving positive change, to creating a happy life for yourself and your family or being active in your community. Are you passionate the environment, human rights, health, communication, technology or politics? 

Start with your values and your passions and then think about how you can explore those further through study, and eventually you’ll uncover a career path that’s just made for you. 

And if its not the ‘usual’ or traditional trail? Don’t let fear stand in your way. Speak to others who have forged similar pathways and listen to their stories.  

“As a young Indigenous woman, I understand the fear of creating your own path and not following what your family did so I hope that others can look towards me for reassurance and in-time guidance.”

Need a hand taking the next step?

Perhaps studying at uni was always in your plans and you’re on already track for ATAR entry or an Early Offer. For others, the thought of studying at university might seem like a huge shift away from where you or other people expected your path to lead, and you might not even think you can gain entry to a uni degree. But don’t let that fear stop you. In fact, there are plenty of different ways you can get started at uni and man of them don’t involve ATAR.

If you’re Indigenous, you could follow in Tiarnee’s footsteps with UWA’s  Aboriginal Orientation Course - a 12-month course which prepares you for entry to all undergraduate courses at UWA. All students enrol in a minimum of four units each semester, depending on what you would like to pursue in the first year of your University degree.

For non-Indigenous students completing high school but worried your ATAR might not be high enough for your chosen course, UWA’s programs like Broadway and First in Family can boost your ATAR by up to ten points. Or if you don’t have an ATAR there’s also mature age entry for anyone over 20, diploma entry or STAT entry.

Basically, no two paths are the same! We’re all starting out from different places, but what matters most is where you’re going. So uncover that dream destination, and know that there are people who’ll help you take each step along the way. 

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