Jiah King 3rd year student Bachelor of Commerce shares his experiences at Woolyungah Indigenous Centre.
Proud Waanyi and Pitta Pitta man, Jiah King is currently in his third year of a Bachelor of Commerce at the University of Wollongong. Throughout his studies Jiah has fully immersed himself in the university experience, taking advantage of the services and programs on offer at Woolyungah including the ITAP tutoring program, AHO and WIC Scholarships as well as becoming a Student Ambassador.
Making the move from Jervis Bay to Wollongong the day before lockdown began, Jiah highlights the ongoing support he has received from WIC.
“It seemed like they really cared about me as a student already- even though I had not even met anyone at that time! They were always there to give great advice and guidance.”
As a new student, it can be quite daunting coming to university. Through having those conversations with the welcoming students and staff at WIC, students are able to learn what events they can get involved in, the resources that are available to make the most of their time at university, as well as linking students with services that offer a helping hand without the added pressure and expectations.
The ITAP tutoring program is a free academic support initiative offered by WIC. It aims to improve the educational outcomes for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students. Having made use of the program throughout his degree, Jiah has developed his academic writing skills, and received marks that reflect his hard work.
Describing himself as a “student, Indigenous ambassador, ITAP recipient, eater of snacks and distraction to good students,” Jiah’s role as a WIC Student Ambassador has allowed him to effectively engage with his degree, develop professional skills and inspire young First Nations students.
“The work as an ambassador, really gives you a chance to engage with young Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander kids and be part of that process to help uplift our mob through education, and seeing the lights turn on when you tell them about what is on offer at the university is always brilliant. It also gives you money to help live, and valuable skills in cultural facilitation and running activities.”
Jiah’s ongoing involvement with WIC has allowed him to not only grow in self-confidence, but also become a part of a community of inspiring First Nations peoples with diverse strengths and talents. Stating “all of the activities give people a chance to come out of their shell and relax, and you can deepen those connections while studying, working and socialising.”
Jiah strongly encourages future and current students to get involved with Woolyungah Indigenous Centre in any way shape or form. “They are just brilliant, they have been the thing that has made my university experience possible, and it would not have been the same without them. Knowing that WIC has your back and is supporting you helps your confidence, and you get to go out and do things you have never done before, like barefoot bowls, escape rooms, smash labs, axe throwing- it is awesome.”