Scholarship awarded to ANU alumna to study at Oxford University

30 September 2016

ANU alumna and Indigenous woman Sarah Bourke has been awarded the prestigious Robert Skyes Scholarship to study at Oxford University.

The scholarship supports Indigenous people to complete postgraduate studies at leading international universities and to inspire future students through strong Indigenous academic role models and parity in education.

Ms Bourke said she was delighted to be awarded the Roberta Sykes scholarship to fund her PhD in Anthropology at St John's College, Oxford that will start in October.

"The scholarship will enable me to focus fully on my academic pursuits, taking the pressure off to work my way through my doctorate," said Ms Bourke, a descendant of the Djaru, Ongkomi and Gamilaroi cultural groups.

The scholarship, jointly supported by the British and Australian governments, provides $75,000 per annum for up to three years to cover course fees, living expenses and travel to the United Kingdom.

"It would have been impossible for me to fund my studies in the UK without being supported by a scholarship," Ms Burke said.

Ms Bourke intends to pursue a career as an academic researcher.

"Earning my PhD from Oxford University will make me a highly competitive candidate for future academic positions, and will gain me a place in an international network of Oxford alumni," she said.

"I hope that from this privileged position I will be able to inspire other Indigenous students pursue higher education."

Ms Bourke graduated from ANU with a Bachelor of Arts (First Class Honours in Biological Anthropology) and a Bachelor of Science (Psychology) in 2013.