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06.02.23 All media
Indigenous architecture scholarship supports reconciliation

A new architecture scholarship will support an Indigenous student though their degree and prepare them for a career in design thanks to a partnership between Buchan and the University of Queensland (UQ).

The Buchan Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Architecture Industry Scholarship is the first of its kind for the University with the inaugural placement to commence in 2023.

The three-year scholarship will support a student through their undergraduate studies, providing for the essential needs of their campus experience. It will offer access to a diverse academic and professional network and engagement in industry opportunities.

Buchan CEO Stephen Auld says the scholarship is part of the practice’s Reflect Reconciliation Action Plan.

“Education is a key focus of our RAP,” say Auld. “We recognise Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities are severely underrepresented in the built environment. We support positive and meaningful change in this area and recognise the active role we can play in breaking down barriers to entry through financial and social support.”

Buchan joins an Australia-wide network of more than 2,200 corporate, government, and not-for-profit organisations that have made a formal commitment to reconciliation through the RAP program. The four RAP types – Reflect, Innovate, Stretch and Elevate – allow RAP partners to continuously develop and strengthen reconciliation commitments in new ways.

UQ’s Pro-Vice-Chancellor Indigenous Engagement, Professor Bronwyn Fredericks, says, “Education is a powerful tool and has a positive ripple effect – for the student, for the community and our society more broadly…Until we close the gap in higher education participation and outcomes, the goals of reconciliation will remain elusive.”

“By enabling this inaugural initiative through UQ, Buchan has made a commitment to the future of our Architecture students, their communities, and their built environments for years to come,” said Professor Fredericks.

Buchan engaged Wiradjuri woman Theresa Bower of Burrundi Design Studio to tell its RAP story through a collaborative artwork. Bower has a degree in architecture and is currently doing a Master of Philosophy at UQ on embedding culture into the built environment. The artwork depicts the RAP’s aspiration to connect people, place, Country and culture in the future.

“The expanding star icon represents education,” says Bower. “Its central core represents the university and the knowledge that is held within, reaching out to connect First Nations people to higher education in the built environment profession.”

Applications for the scholarship close on 27 February and interested Indigenous UQ students can apply via the scholarships section of the UQ website here.