Featured News Indigenous student success celebrated at annual awards night

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Fri, 20 Sep 2019

Indigenous student success celebrated at annual awards night

Three women pose in the evening sunlight, underneath a sign saying

James Cook University celebrated their Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students at their annual Indigenous Student Awards night.

Twenty-eight students were honoured with awards that acknowledge their efforts and successes at the University.

Professor Martin Nakata, Pro Vice-Chancellor of Indigenous Education and Strategy said the results were very much a reflection of the students’ own efforts, and the high level of academic and pastoral care provided by the staff at the Indigenous Education and Research Centre.

“The results are also attributable to the excellent work the Academics perform in each of the Colleges, and the work of the Senior Leadership team at the University,” he said.

The evening revealed an impressive range of degree programs Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students participate in today. Past and present students were also invited to speak about their academic journey.

Senior JCU academics and staff, including Vice Chancellor Professor Sandra Harding, as well as Ms Margie Ryder from the Townsville City Council, were there to present the Academic and Spirit awards.

“It was fantastic to see families of the students there to celebrate the achievements, along with their community and industry supporters,” Professor Nakata said.

“The awards night is a showcase of what Indigenous students can achieve when they are given the opportunity and support to do so. We aim to not just celebrate our students success but to inspire all members of our community.”

James Cook University’s Indigenous Education and Research Centre hosted the Awards night.

List of Winners:


  • Dwayne Ormiston
  • Lilly-Lee Jordan

Arts and Social Sciences

  • Joshua Niesler
  • Razmie-Jane Collyer

Law and Governance

  • Damon Johnson
  • Adrienne Hollis


  • Max McLachlan
  • Bethany Miller

Engineering, IT, and Planning

  • Lachlan Vaughan
  • Trina Hunt


  • Wayne Cawthorne
  • Tiana O’Brien

Diploma of Higher Education

  • Ezekiel Mitchell-Smith
  • Sharon Eastley

Allied Health

  • Jamie McPherson
  • Rebecca Carpenter

Nursing and Midwifery

  • James Burke
  • Narelle Mullen

Medicine and Dentistry

  • Sapphire Watkinson
  • Sarah Barton

Veterinary and Medical Sciences

  • Paul Baker
  • Paige Hooley

Centre for Rural and Remote Health, Mt Isa

  • Georgia McManus

Higher Degree by Research

  • Janine Gertz
  • Jenna Singleton-Bray
  • Tahnee Innes

Spirit Awards

  • Alexandra Warrior
  • Sarah Burke

Nikki Strano

Indigenous Student Recruitment Specialist