Sisters doing it for themselves… and health sciences

With their sights set on careers in medicine and health sciences, sisters Angie and Meg Couzner have both been recognised for their academic pursuits during this year’s National Reconciliation Week celebrations.

The sisters are part of a group of 11 promising academics from across the state awarded for their education success through either the Chief Executive’s Reconciliation Awards or Dame Roma Mitchell Scholarships.

Hailing from Nuriootpa High School, 2020 graduate Angie is studying Laboratory Medicine at the University of South Australia.

She is one of two Reconciliation Awards recipients recognised for achieving the highest Australian Tertiary Admission Ranks (ATAR) among the state’s Aboriginal students.

Meg is in year 11 at Nuriootpa High School and is one of nine recipients of the Dame Roma Mitchell Scholarships designed to help Aboriginal students in year 11 and 12 undertake their SACE and ultimately pursue their educational and professional goals post school.

Like her sister, she is eager to pursue a health sciences pathway when she graduates.

“I am very pleased to be celebrating these promising young academics who are committed to their education and are an outstanding example of what Aboriginal students in South Australia can achieve,” said Minister for Education John Gardner.

“We are committed to improving the outcomes of Aboriginal children, young people, and their families by recognising the importance of strong cultural identity in our schools, workplaces, and broader community.

“National Reconciliation Week is a time for all Australians to learn about our shared histories, cultures, and achievements, and to explore how each of us can contribute to achieving reconciliation in Australia.”

“As a department we will continue to support and set high expectations for academic and personal achievement of Aboriginal students,” said Chief Executive of the Department for Education Rick Persse.

“I am proud to see a trend of increased positive educational outcomes for all Aboriginal students in this state. This is a credit to our team statewide.

“This includes an increase in the retention rate of Aboriginal students, an increase in Aboriginal SACE completers and an increase in Aboriginal enrolments in preschools and schools within South Australia.”

2021 CE’s Reconciliation Week Award recipients:

  • Angie Couzner Nuriootpa High School (studying Laboratory Medicine at Uni SA)
  • Grace Bennett Playford International College (studying Teaching at Uni SA)

2021 Dame Roma Mitchell Scholarship recipients:

  • Amber Kearney Salisbury High School
  • Dimitra Tsavaris Salisbury East High School
  • Faith Morgan Renmark High School
  • Jordyn Doll Grant High School
  • Kelly Santry Brighton Secondary School
  • Meg Couzner Nuriootpa High School
  • Liam Porter Glossop High School
  • Shaewanah Coulthard Leigh Creek Area School
  • Zoe Solomon Port Augusta Secondary School

The awards complement the department’s Aboriginal Education Strategy which aims to increase outcomes for Aboriginal students by supporting them to be proud and confident learners from birth, in school, and beyond.

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