Lily Thorpe is a Ngiyampaa and Wiradjuri woman and first-year nursing student at UOW. She got her start at university after applying through WIC’s Indigenous Admissions Program and receiving an offer in October last year shortly before completing her HSC.
After studying Child Studies in Year 10 and then achieving a Band 6 in Community and Family Studies in her HSC, Lily knew that nursing was the career path for her.
“We studied post-natal care and that’s when I started thinking ‘Oh, I wouldn’t mind being a midwife,’ and then I thought to be a midwife I should probably get a start with nursing, and so I started researching.”
Lily looked into a wide range of university nursing courses and went to several university open days, but it was when she came to UOW’s Discovery Day and saw the lab facilities and discovered the services at WIC that she realised this was the place for her. Despite that, she still wasn’t completely confident that she’d be able to attend university at all.
“When COVID really hit and the school went online, I did work but I struggled. The topics I was doing were content-heavy, like Legal Studies, Advanced English, Modern History – they were subjects you really need to keep on top of.”
“I was working a lot at the time and would get rostered on when I was having a class and I thought ‘Oh well, it’s online, I’ll just do it later but it never ended up happening. I had to accept that I might not get the ATAR I want. I researched Woolyungah and I thought ‘This IAP is perfect.”
After the initial IAP application, Lily credits the WIC staff for staying on top of her with email reminders with specific instructions throughout the application period for making the process so smooth. When the offer study was made to her after a final interview, she was overcome with emotion.
“Caitlin will tell you that I cried, it was the most amazing feeling.”
Now comfortably approaching the end of her first semester and about to start her first nursing placement, Lily continues to stay involved with WIC through ITAP tutoring, a number of scholarships and making use of the space to hang out and study.
“Any issues, I feel like I can come here. When there are issues with assignments there’s someone to help me, or if I’m sad there’s someone to help me. It’s just been a lot easier and I don’t know if I’d have found it this easy if I didn’t have this support system.”