Batchelor Institute » New Directions
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Date:October 16, 2013

New Directions


Photo credit: Steve Gumerungi Hodder-Watt

Indigenous students from New South Wales are travelling to the Northern Territory to turn their academic dreams into reality thanks to a program designed to prepare them for success at university.

Batchelor Institute of Indigenous Tertiary Education recently celebrated the success of 26 students who completed the Preparation for Tertiary Success (PTS) course. Many of the PTS graduates are now pursuing their dreams of becoming teachers, health professionals, linguists and community advocates.

PTS is for Indigenous people who wish to go to university. The course is delivered by the Australian Centre for Indigenous Knowledges and Education (ACIKE), a joint partnership between Batchelor Institute and Charles Darwin University (CDU).

The ACIKE mixed mode (workshops plus online) delivery model allows Indigenous people from all over Australia to study courses at the Desert Peoples Centre in Alice Springs.

“The first trip out to Alice Springs was amazing. It was the first time I have travelled alone and also my first time on a plane, so that was fun.”Jess Matuchet of Ballina

Jess is having a short break from study after finishing PTS in June but she intends starting a Bachelor of Health Science degree at ACIKE in 2014. “I think being out in Alice Springs and seeing how culturally different people live compared to me, even though we are all Aboriginal, it just pushed me into the field of study I’m in now. I’ve always been interested in medicine, but without all the gory stuff! So after talking to the lecturers I decided I wanted to get into health promotion and to work particularly in rural Aboriginal communities across Australia.”

All ACIKE courses have a holistic learning and support environment that builds Indigenous student capacity through the whole learning journey.

“Before PTS, my future was really unknown and now when I look I can see a really good future coming towards me and the thing that helped me turn that around was mainly PTS” said education student Chelsea Flanders of Dubbo. “If I had gone straight into the teaching degree I would have been lost. For example, my first two assignments in the degree have been an essay and a journal and I learned how to do both of those in PTS.”

The PTS course helps students to understand what it takes to be successful when studying a university course. PTS graduate Clayton Simpson from Dubbo is studying the Bachelor of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Advocacy (BATSIA) degree: “I’ve really changed in the past 6 months; I’m a lot more studious for a start. When the class finished for the day I would go to the library. Never before have I done that. I’m studying BATSIA at uni now and it’s going really good. I’m so much more confident and resilient now after doing PTS, and that’s helping me heaps.”

Chris Jordan from Taree completed PTS and is hoping to study a law degree in 2014. “Since studying PTS I feel a lot more confident with my studies. Before I studied PTS I hadn’t studied in a really long time, about 10 years or so and I didn’t really have any intention of doing more study. I used to just look on the internet and find things out for myself. I didn’t really think of study, and especially university, as something that I could do.”

Details about courses and how to apply for study in 2014 can be found at or by calling an Academic Advisor on 1800 061 963 or email

Alternatively, if you wish to speak with an Academic Advisor at the Batchelor Institute Student Support Unit, contact Freecall 1800 677 095 or email

Chris wants to see other Indigenous people give study a go: “If I can do it why can’t you?”