“History is powerful because it provides information that people use to form opinions or act,” are the words of Lou Glover, who completed her Bachelor of Arts, with a double major in Community, Culture & Environment, and Indigenous Studies at UOW in Batemans Bay.
Lou did her undergraduate with Honours in History, and is about to commence a PhD. She says she was a youth mentor when she initially decided to get a feel for life as a university student.
“I thought it might be good to study at UOW to really know what the kids I was mentoring would be in for at uni,” she said. “I did not expect to become so passionate about my studies and look to do postgraduate research.
“The best part has been really engaging with the content, having somewhere to write and release many of the thoughts I’ve had over the years about social, cultural, economic, historic, and lawful issues.”
As an Indigenous Australian, Lou’s passion for her study area comes from her own story and observations. Her research looks at the impact of settler-colonialism in Australia and how this history changed lives, communities and Country.
“Indigenous and settler-colonial history’s inter-relationship is hugely significant,” she said. “The past informs the present, which creates the future.”
When it comes to learning, Lou feels the campus offers benefits for herself and her fellow students in two ways: place and experience.
Situated on sacred country, on Walbunja Lands, she says there is a long history of teaching and learning at the nearby Hanging Rock site.
“I believe all students at our campus have that deep time advantage of place, nurturing our studies,” she said.
On a day-to-day basis, she found smaller classes and face-to-face access to tutors to be an advantage throughout her undergraduate degree.
“Our cohort had community bonds and the main campus in Wollongong was only an email away,” she said.
“If Batemans Bay campus was not there, I doubt I would have studied. The multi-disciplinary subjects of the Community, Culture & Environment major on offer at the campus fulfilled many areas of interest for me.”
Associate Professor Sarah O’Shea, from UOW’s School of Education, said regional campuses had an important role to play in creating opportunities to share new knowledge in regional areas.
“They can also offer a focus point for community gatherings and are a really important aspect of regional communities,” Prof. O’Shea said.
“The campus is a little community of its own, which can be very beneficial for students. They have the security of being known, if they run into difficulty, they have a keen awareness of where they can go for support.
“Having regional unis and having that opportunity to learn at a regional level is really important, so it’s important we continue to offer that choice for students.”
Read more about regional UOW students at uow.info/hometown
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