Batchelor Institute » Tertiary Success in Action – PTS and Beyond
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Tertiary Success in Action – PTS and Beyond

2017 PTS students

Preparation for Tertiary Success (PTS) is a university preparation course for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. It is designed to help people develop the skills, knowledge and confidence needed to succeed at university. To find out how PTS is achieving these aims we had a chat to six former PTS students.

Bachelor of Teaching (Batchelor Institute/Charles Darwin University) graduate Kathryn Cochrane moved from Alice Springs to the Tiwi Islands in January to take up the role of teacher at Milikapiti School. Kathryn said “I’m loving island life and teaching at a remote Indigenous school. It’s been challenging but it is such a rewarding, supportive and fun place to work. The students have amazing personalities and are hilarious. The community people are really friendly also.” In May, Kathryn was awarded the Batchelor Institute sponsored ‘Remote Indigenous Teaching Program Award’.

After three years of full-time study Amanda Hamilton has just completed the Bachelor of Community and Social Development through Western Sydney University. Amanda said “I’m a firm believer if you start something you should finish it and I’m glad I was able to do just that.” Amanda acknowledged the support of her family, the Aboriginal unit at the university and her tutor. Amanda is looking forward to gaining work in the community development/welfare sector working with and for Aboriginal people.

Craig Winston is studying a Bachelor of Science majoring in Ecology, Evolution and Organismal Biology at Flinders University. Craig is loving university life especially the Flinders University Palaeontology Society which organized a dig in NSW that is known to have Megafauna from the late Pleistocene era. In October Craig spoke to 60 Indigenous high school students encouraging them to pursue science degrees. Craig said “I introduced them to the new terms Ethnobiology and Ethnobotany, and gave examples of how my people, the Tiwi, treated Cycad seeds which are poisonous and will kill you if not prepared correctly. I also gave the example from the YouTube series ‘Through Our Eyes’ that we watched in PTS.”

Alison Murphy (nee Nannup) had a busy year with the main event being her marriage to Matthew in October. In between coordinating the wedding, Alison has continued juggling work and study. Alison works part-time as a Research Assistant at Edith Cowan University while studying a Bachelor of Indigenous Languages & Linguistics (Batchelor Institute/CDU). Alison is already an accomplished author having written a book in Noongar language and in 2017 she was a co-author for a research paper on the both ways model. It will be published soon and we look forward to using it in our PTS classes.

This year Callum Robinson was recognized by Griffith University for the voluntary work he does mentoring students in the School of Nursing and Midwifery Peer Mentoring Program. Callum is a Bachelor of Nursing student and has shown true resilience this year as he faced family tragedy. Callum says “some days are really hard but as Dory says ‘just keep swimming just keep swimming’. I surround myself with great company and keep myself busy.”

Demitrice Doomadgee had an impressive year on the rugby field which resulted in her selection in the Combined Affiliated States (CAS) team that played against a rugby World Cup team (Cook Islands) in Sydney. Demi is enrolled in the Bachelor of Nursing (Batchelor Institute/CDU) as she wants to work as a nurse and midwife to ensure that remote communities have access to quality health care. Of 2017 Demi says: “It has definitely been a challenge trying to balance my dream to become a nurse and midwife with playing rugby league for a national team.”

PTS helps students to build personal and academic skills by bringing together Indigenous Australian and Western academic knowledges. It is delivered as a partnership between Batchelor Institute and Charles Darwin University.

Applications to start PTS in 2018 are now open. You can find out more about the course and how to apply at or email or phone 1800 677 095