At a time when closed borders seem to dominate the news, academic exchange supported by the USA-run Fulbright Program continues to promote international collaboration and cultural understanding.
This year, UTS celebrates two alumni Fulbright Scholarship wins.
Bachelor of Communication and Bachelor of Laws (Honours) graduate Alison Whittaker (who’s also an academic in the Faculty of Law and the Centre for the Advancement of Indigenous Knowledges) has received the 2017 Fulbright Indigenous Postgraduate Scholarship. Bachelor of Business (Honours) alumnus Arjun Bisen is the recipient of the 2017 Fulbright Anne Wexler Scholarship in Public Policy.
For Whittaker, who finished her undergraduate degrees last year, the scholarship represents the next step in her academic journey.
“Having now learned the technical guts of Australian law, what I needed was more of the big picture; the dynamic and conceptual perspective,” she says.
“I had spoken to other Indigenous students who had gone to the States to study law, and when you examine the contexts, shared and distinct, between Indigenous Australians and Native Americans it’s clear we have much to learn from each other. It is crucial for us to share perspectives and expertise — especially on nation-building and treaty law as Australia now moves into treaty talks.”
Whittaker, a Gomeroi woman, will use the scholarship to complete the Harvard Law School’s Master of Laws program. It will, she says, enable her to continue researching contemporary forms of Indigenous lawmaking and its relationship to Indigenous self-determination and gendered violence.