A year after the AFTRS Indigenous Unit was established, the School has announced that a record number of Indigenous students are enrolled in 2017.
Twenty-two Indigenous students are currently studying at AFTRS. Sixteen of these started at the School in 2017 and are enrolled in courses including Diplomas, the Bachelor of Arts Screen: Production, Graduate Certificates and the new Master of Arts Screen.
2017 represents the highest intake of Indigenous students into the AFTRS BA program since it was introduced three years ago.
The AFTRS Indigenous Unit was established a year ago to identify and support pathways for talented Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders to study across the School, and provide professional development opportunities for mid-career practitioners.
Over the past 12 months the Unit has introduced a number of initiatives and its impact is already being felt, including the significant jump in enrolment of Indigenous students.
“It’s very exciting that AFTRS is attracting students starting their careers with the new Bachelor of Arts Screen: Production, as well as more experienced students with the School’s Postgraduate courses focused on creating industry leaders who will have impact on the country’s national voice,”says Head of the Indigenous Unit Kyas Sherriff.
During the AFTRS Orientation Week, the incoming Indigenous cohort met with AFTRS’ inaugural Elder in Residence – Bruce Pascoe. Acclaimed Indigenous novelist and teller of stories, Uncle Bruce Pascoe identifies with his Yuin and Bunurong Tasmanian Heritage.
The AFTRSElder in Residence role has been created to encourage an Indigenous perspective across the entire school.
“As the Elder in Residence at AFTRS for 12 months, Uncle Bruce offers the School’s staff and students an opportunity to engage with First Nations perspectives,” says Kyas Sherriff.
AFTRS is a leader in this space, and it is extremely exciting that such a respected elder as Uncle Bruce has agreed to work with AFTRS through this residency. I hope his presence will help AFTRS staff and students gain a deeper understanding of the longest living culture in Australia and the world,” Ms Sherriff said.
Photo: AFTRS Indigenous students with AFTRS staff including CEO Neil Peplow (far left), Elder in Residence – Bruce Pascoe (3rd from left) and Head of the Indigenous Unit Kyas Sherriff (far right).