Supporting learning and future opportunities for First Nations students

Goreng Goreng/Kabi Kabi student, Kiara, says her scholarship from NRMA Insurance helped her discover her passion for science.

Kiara Bowater UQ Scholarship Recipient May 2021

IAG is proud to support the resilience, professional development and creation of future opportunities for First Nations university students through the NRMA Insurance Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Scholarship program. Provided through Australian universities, including the University of Queensland (UQ) and Western Sydney University, the scholarships include financial support for the duration of the student’s degree and a paid internship. 

Scholarship recipient, Kiara Bowater, was only 17 when she headed from Gympie to the big smoke of Brisbane to begin a double degree in Arts and Science at the University of Queensland. The Goreng Goreng/Kabi Kabi teen said she missed her local family and community networks when she made the move.

“I was really stressed about meeting the cost of living in share housing and Uni costs when I first relocated to Brisbane but I was overjoyed to secure an NRMA Insurance scholarship for my first three years; along with Abstudy and a UQ Link award it really helped me focus on my studies without any stress.”

IAG, Principal Indigenous Engagement Rebecca Hyland, said: ‘We are so proud to hear about Kiara’s academic achievements and are following her exciting journey to graduation. Education is critical to health, equity and access to employment and socio-economic outcomes in our communities and scholarships have great impact.

“We support Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities through our Indigenous Engagement Strategy, which includes our Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP). This work is part of our Community Connection focus in our enterprise-wide Safer Communities Business Plan.”

Kiara said the scholarship was a significant support during her studies. “Thanks to NRMA Insurance I’ve been able to sustain good marks throughout my Bachelor of Science,” she said.

As she progressed in her studies, Kiara realised she was passionate about Public Health and Microbiology, so she transferred to a Bachelor of Science in her second year. With her graduation approaching, she’s already planning her next steps.

“As well as graduating at the end of this year, I hope to apply for a Bachelor of Health Science (Honours) … that would enable me to get some real-world research experience and maybe continue further into a health research career one day.”

About IAG’s RAP

Our current RAP includes actions aimed at providing employment, education and professional development opportunities to First Nations people, as well as supporting Indigenous businesses and increasing cultural awareness among IAG employees and partners.

We’re proud that we’ve received the highest level of endorsement from Reconciliation Australia for our RAP and it’s recognised as an ‘Elevate’ RAP.

To achieve Elevate status, organisations must have a proven track record of embedding effective RAP initiatives throughout the organisation, while taking a leadership position to advance national reconciliation.

You can read our RAP here.

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