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Senior Epidemiologist and Lead Researcher for Queensland Health in the Deadly ears program, Kyle Turner, will undertake a Doctor of Philosophy in public health at Jesus College at Oxford University as a recipient of this year's Charlie Perkins Scholarship.
Turner is one of three Indigenous students to be awarded the scholarship. The other recipients include University of Melbourne's Lilly Brown, who will study a Master of Philosophy at Cambridge, while Griffith University's Krystal Lockwood will undertake a Master of Science at Oxford.
The scholarships, announced in 2009 by Julia Gillard in honour of the first Aboriginal person to graduate from an Australian university, are awarded to high-achieving Indigenous students who win entry to world-leading universities.
Turner holds a Bachelor of Archaeological Practice (1st class honours) and a Masters of Applied Epidemiology from the Australian National University (ANU). He is looking forward to building on his already considerable research skills and to improving the health and wellbeing of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders.
‘Charlie Perkins is a huge inspiration and one my heroes,' he said. 'I'm honoured to have a scholarship and complete a degree in his name.'
An Aboriginal man of Wiradjuri and Irish descent, Turner said he wanted to focus his studies on the health and identities of Indigenous children.
'There's a relationship between the two: if you are weak in your identity, you'll be weak in your health.'
Speaking about the scholarships, Chair of the Charlie Perkins Scholarship Trust, Hetti Perkins said, ‘It is truly momentous to see three more inspiring Indigenous graduates on their way to Oxford and Cambridge. These amazing, high achieving students will make a great contribution to their chosen fields and will be role models and mentors to the increasing number of Indigenous students pursuing higher education.'
Source: The Australian, The Canberra times and Indigenous scholarships