Kambri Scholars Program turning dreams into reality
Thomson Fleming (BComm '22), a Barkindji and Malayangapa man from the remote town of Broken Hill, NSW, is no stranger to adversity.
Growing up in a single-mother household with five siblings, including a sister with cerebral palsy, he has overcome numerous challenges - domestic violence, housing instability, and financial hardship.
Thomson thought a university education was out of reach, until he learned about the Kambri Scholars Program at the Australian National University (ANU).
"Discovering the Kambri Scholars Program presented a life-changing opportunity," says Thomson.
"With my family unable to financially support my university education, I recognised the program as a means to make my dreams a reality, allowing me to make the transition from Broken Hill to ANU."
The Kambri Scholars Program provides holistic and culturally aware support to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students at ANU. Administered by the Tjabal Indigenous Higher Education Centre, 56 life-changing scholarships have already been awarded since its inception just three years ago.
It enables individuals like me to pursue higher education and make a meaningful difference in our communities, giving us every opportunity to be a leader of tomorrow.
- THOMSON FLEMING
Thomson graduated from ANU in 2022, with a Bachelor of Commerce majoring in accounting, finance, and management. Since graduating, he has moved into full-time employment at Ernst and Young, where he works in the Turnaround and Restructuring Strategy Practice and the Indigenous Sector Practice.
"Kambri Scholars are encouraged to 'pay it forward' and I am dedicated to giving back to my community," says Thomson.
And pay it forward he does. Through his work, he has delivered advice in areas such as financial management, restructuring and turnaround, and corporate governance for clients including government, ASX listed companies, and health and education providers. He works on highly sensitivity engagements with deeply affected stakeholders, predominately in the Indigenous, mining and health sectors.
Thomson also mentors Indigenous youth, raises money for men's mental health, and is vocal about his experience as a survivor of domestic violence and housing instability. He has made a conscious decision to be a role model and abstain from alcohol, having witnessed alcohol abuse, and the effect it had on his family and community, while growing up.
Thomson is not just a success story; he is a beacon of transformation, embodying the vision of the Kambri Scholars Program. He is living proof that, with determination and the right support, dreams can indeed become reality.
To learn more about Thomson's story and the Kambri Scholars Program, download the 2023 impact report.