Indigenous education students Jedda Ellison and Hayden Kubler have been awarded the Australian Catholic University’s 2022 Francis Xavier Conaci scholarship to study in Rome. Source: The Catholic Leader.
Ms Ellison, a Yuwibarra woman, said the opportunity to represent Indigenous Australians was “overwhelming”, but she felt very proud.
“It’s an enormous amount of pressure because I feel as though I’m being asked to be a representative for all First Nations peoples and to represent all of us,” the Queenslander said said.
“We have all got stories and we’ve all got lots of things to share. I would hate to not do it right.”
Ms Ellison and Mr Kubler arrived in Rome on June 29 to study and will pay their respects to Francis Xavier Conaci at his resting place.
Conaci, meaning "black cockatoo" was named after an Aboriginal Yued Noongar boy who travelled to Rome in 1849 from New Norcia in Western Australia to study in the Benedictine monastery.
Mr Kubler, who grew up on Butchulla country in Queensland, hopes to discover more about the young Aboriginal boy.
“I’m particularly interested in understanding the connection the Catholic Church now has to the traditional owners of the Perth area, and I acknowledge that reconciliation has been at the forefront of the Church’s mind when honouring Conaci’s life,” Mr Kubler said.
ACU First Peoples Directorate director Jane Ceolin said the university was proud to partner with global and education pathways to provide the scholarship winners with “exciting leadership opportunities”.
Future First Nations teachers honoured with Rome scholarship (By Hannah Kennelly, The Catholic Leader)