ASB students celebrate NAIDOC Week

Tuesday, 3 July 2012  Features

As we celebrate NAIDOC Week we are telling the stories of ASB's inspiring young Indigenous students.

Sarah Hyland

My name is Sarah Hyland; a creative spirit drawn to study an accounting degree. I am an Aniwan woman from Uralla in regional NSW. I completed high school in Maryborough, Queensland and at the age of 17 I left home to pursue a university degree in Sydney. It's been three and a half years since then and I never would have dreamed myself at the age of 21 as a young business professional with the power to influence and make a difference.

University has opened so many doors for me. Since starting, I have had the opportunity to complete three 6-month placements as a University of NSW Co-op program scholar. I now have experience in the commercial, public and private business sectors. My first placement was as a financial analyst at Campbell Arnott's. My second was as a policy analyst for Aboriginal Affairs at NSW Treasury, and my most recent placement has been in the Finance Shared Services division of the Westpac Group.

Industry training has been great for my professional development and in applying the theory learned in class. However, the most rewarding part of my University experience so far has been giving back to the programs which inspired me to come to University almost four years ago. There is such a valuable message and power which comes with education and I have been in a privileged position to promote this through the Australian School of Business, and Nura Gili Indigenous Winter School, and pre-business programs. In every part of my university experience I have embraced opportunities for growth, and now having learned so much I feel powerful and confident that my future will be a bright one. None of my achievements to date would have been possible without the support of the people who have mentored me and believed in me along the way. I was 14 when I was first told that I could really do something great with my life. The words of my then martial arts instructor have stuck with me ever since and have been emphasised over time by other inspirational people in my life. Show Me The Way is the perfect program to replicate this feeling for many other young Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders.

As a young Aboriginal business woman I have a passion for strategic and creative business thinking. I hope that in the years to come, I can continue to motivate and teach others about the importance of business, and in particular, its importance to the self-determination of our people. With the continued support of my mentors, I feel like anything is possible.

For enquiries and more information about ASB Indigenous Business Education and related programs please contact:

Rebecca Harcourt,
Indigenous Program Coordinator
tel: +61 2 93859746
Nura Gili Centre for Indigenous Programs website