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By 2016

By 2016 it will be 50 years since Charles Perkins became the first Aboriginal man to graduate from an Australian university, the University of Sydney. By 2016 our aim is to welcome an additional 600 talented and passionate Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people into our diverse university community.

Jessica's story

Jessica Eileen Reardon

Jessica Eileen Reardon

Bachelor of Applied Sciences, Occupational Therapy – Wiradjuri Woman
Born
I was born in North Sydney and have always lived in Yagoona.
People
Decendent of Diana Mudgee (Wiradjuri Woman) and Member of the Gandangara Land Council
Schooling
I spent 12 years of my schooling at Santa Sabina College, Strathfield.
Motivation
To be able to help others and further my education. My eldest brother has an intellectual disability, which motivated me to work in the health industry. It meant I would be able to continue to help people and work in the field of paediatrics, which I have always wanted to do. Occupational Therapy allows me to do this.
Challenge
To succeed in the course, graduate and to be employed as an Occupational Therapist.
Sydney Uni
I was fortunate to be accepted into the Cadigal program at The University Sydney. The University was extremely welcoming and supportive of Indigenous students. From the beginning they were there for their students and that they are trying to make a difference, by giving all young Indigenous students the opportunity to further their education, no matter what their circumstances maybe.

By 2016
I am currently working for Autism Australia as an early intervention specialist. My plan is to transition to school-based therapy from July 2016 onwards and continue to work with children within the education sector. I am a member of the National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander OT Network and looking at guest lecturing or teaching alongside an experienced Indigenous occupational therapist next year at the University of Sydney.