They’re Off: 2024 US Study Tour

Eight Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander scholars have embarked on the 2024 US Study Tour to explore opportunities for further study at some of the world’s most renowned academic institutions.

Aimed at supporting the postgraduate aspirations of the next generation of Indigenous leaders, Aurora’s annual International Study Tour works with First Nations scholars to build networks of support at some of the world’s best universities. This year’s US Study Tour scholars will be spending the next three weeks visiting Harvard, Columbia, New York University and the University of Arizona, among others, where they will meet with academics, mingle with current scholars, and develop a better understanding of where their education journeys are heading.


From left to right: Nicole Hutton, Madelaine Sealey, Banok Rind, Hannah McCleary. 


This year’s US Study Tour scholars include:

  • Baimaya Yamatji scholar, Banok Rind. Banok studied a Bachelor of Nursing at the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology (RMIT) and is currently working at the Productivity Commission as a Senior Policy Advisor. She has completed an Executive Education course in Leadership in the 21st Century: Chaos, Conflict, and Courage from the Harvard Kennedy Business School and will be exploring a Master in Public Health or a Master of Public Policy while on the US Study Tour.
  • Palawa scholar, Hannah McCleary. Hannah received a Bachelor of Science and a Bachelor of Laws (Honours) from the University of Tasmania and is currently enrolled in a Graduate Diploma in Legal Practice. She has joined the US Study Tour to explore postgraduate opportunities in the fields of law and educational leadership.
  • Dunghutti scholar, Isobella Rafty. Isobella holds a Bachelor of Laws and Bachelor of Business Management from the University of Queensland and a Graduate Diploma of Legal Practice from the Australian National University. She works for the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade and wants to explore masters programs that will enable her to build the skills and knowledge to support Indigenous organisations to successfully navigate government institutions and processes to achieve their aspirations and community priorities.
  • Gunditjmara scholar, Jordan Price. Jordan studied a Bachelor of Arts (Extended) (Honours) at the University of Melbourne and is interested in better educating and advising Indigenous people on improving political and policy literacy to enable communities to engage with government and corporate bodies to drive positive outcomes. To do this, he will be exploring postgraduate study focused on public policy and politics.
  • Wurundjeri scholar, Madelaine Sealey. Madeleine holds a Master of Development Studies from the University of Melbourne and a Bachelor of Arts in International Studies and Bachelor of Journalism from the University of Canberra. In the US, she will be exploring opportunities to pursue a PhD in public policy and community development, focusing on Indigenous communities, public policy, and regional development.
  • Garawa scholar, Nicole Hutton. Nicole received a Bachelor of Arts in Screen Production from the Australian Film, Television and Radio School (AFTRS). She is passionate about supporting more Indigenous people to thrive in the storytelling, screenwriting, and filmmaking industry and will be pursuing her passion in the US by exploring postgraduate study in film, storytelling, and advocacy.
  • Wiradjuri and Wemba Wemba scholar, William Smith. Will is passionate about advocating for mental health reform to ensure First Nations Peoples’ needs are met and promotes a framework that nurtures an individual’s social and emotional wellbeing. He holds a Bachelor of Arts (Extended) (Honours) from the University of Melbourne and has joined the US Study Tour to pursue further study in social anthropology and Indigenous social and emotional wellbeing.
  • Wiradjuri scholar, Liam Coe. Liam earned a Master of Architecture and a Bachelor of Architecture and Environments from the University of Sydney. He is committed to further study with the goal of developing the necessary skills to inform and influence how spaces are designed and used to reflect First Nations cultures and ways of being, doing, and seeing. He is joining the Study Tour to explore masters programs in architecture, business, and public policy.


We look forward to hearing about these exceptional scholars’ experiences on the US Study Tour when they return.

Click here to learn more about the Aurora International Study Tour.

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