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However big or small the dream, the advice from Year 11 students Shanikwa Allen-Jones and Lincoln Atkinson is to believe it’s always in reach.

“Believe you can achieve something. Don’t talk yourself out of it and think something can’t happen for you because it can happen for anyone,” Shanikwa said.

“Just go for it – it’s always worthwhile trying,” Lincoln added.

Both First Nations students, Shanikwa and Lincoln have received the Marrung Education Scholarship for 2023/24.

Each year, 30 Marrung scholarships are awarded to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students, providing financial support over two years for the students completing years 11 and 12. The scholarships recognise students who demonstrate a high potential to succeed in their chosen pathway.

“I was shocked when I found out but excited,” Shanikwa said.

“It definitely provides some relief with costs, especially as I’m looking to move away for uni.”

Shanikwa, who is a First Nations Student Leader this year, is looking to study a Sociology Major as part of Bachelor or Arts degree at Monash University.

“I’m passionate about working with kids and educating people about Aboriginal culture,” Shanikwa said.

“At times I’ve really felt it difficult to stay connected with my culture, so I’d like to help young people with that, as well as staying connecting with their community.

Lincoln agreed the scholarship would go a long way towards supporting him with further studies. Lincoln is looking to study in the Finance field and also explore his interest in music.

“Any help with costs for uni or studies after high school is a good thing,” Lincoln said.

“My family were really happy and proud when they found out.”

Both Shanikwa and Lincoln were encouraged to apply for the scholarships by their Home Group teachers.

“If it’s something that can help you achieve what you want in life then it’s worth taking every opportunity,” Lincoln said.

For more information about the Marrung Aboriginal Education Plan and the scholarships visit:

Marrung scholarship