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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.

Tom's story

Thomas Gillard

Thomas Gillard

Bachelor of Veterinary Science (BVSc) – Anaiwan
Born
I was born in Bankstown, in Sydney's Western Suburbs, before I moved to Tamworth when I was five. I remained in Tamworth until I was 18, when I moved back to Sydney to attend university.
People
Anaiwan
Schooling
My primary school education was at Woolomin Public School until Year 4, and I relocated to Tamworth Public School to attend the Opportunity Class there in Years 5 and 6. I received my high-schooling exclusively at an all boys agticultural day and boarding school on the outskirts of Tamworth, Farrer Memorial Agricultural High School.
Motivation
I have always loved and been fascinated by animals. Having grown up on a smallholding, the opportunity to be able to care for them and improve their standards of life were entirely motivating to pursue a career where I could dedicate my life to such an end.
Challenge
The drastic change in lifestyle from being a country kid to living in the city has been quite challenging, as has the vast increase in workload and study hours from the HSC years!
Sydney Uni
The University of Sydney is one of only two universities in NSW that offer a degree in veterinary medicine. The USyd lifestyle has been a marked change from what I am used to, but the Koori Centre and Cadigal program helped significantly in enabling me to settle into the new lifestyle, and gave me a greater sense of connection with the prestigious university.
By 2016
My career aspirations have changed. Instead of going into general practice veterinary medicine, I am now eager to become an academic with an animal species not normally associated with veterinary science as my speciality - the honey bee. I undertook the Bachelor of Science (Veterinary) (a one-year research program), in which I attained First Class Honours for my work researching viruses in honey bees. This year marks the fourth year for my Bachelor of Veterinary Science, now due to finish at the end of 2017. I aim to pursue my new career path, focusing on honey bee pathology and disease research, and follow up my undergraduate years with a PhD in this field.