Mainstream Students

Adam Ridgeway - Bachelor of Visual Arts (Honours)

Adam Ridgeway

My name is Adam Ridgeway and I am Sydney College of the Arts studying my Bachelor of Visual Arts, Object Art and Design (Honours). After four years of study at Sydney I have found that it’s really not just about getting a degree, its about finding out where you want to go and what you really enjoy in life. Since I began my course in 2005 I have been able to engage with my Aboriginality and use my work as a means to express the concerns and issues that are effecting a new generation of Aboriginal people. I would never have thought that I would be exhibiting around Australia and internationally when I was at school but I guess it wouldn’t have meant as much to me if I known exactly what I wanted to do then.

I have been on the ITAS tuition scheme and it has been crucial to reaching, maintaing and pushing the results I have received. As a result my work has been exhibited in competitions such as the National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Award in Darwin, the Gold Coast International Art Award and the 4th World International Ceramic Biennale in Korea to name a few. The most important thing I have come to realise is that tutoring is not for people who are failing, it is for people who want to achieve and perform at a higher level than they currently are.

Being able to live at International House (an international college on campus) has enriched my whole university experience. My studies have been able to help me understand that as a new generation of Indigenous students we have to think whether a black or white approach is the way in which to catagorise ourselves. We all come from so many different backgrounds and cultures and programs such as AIME are crucial in that they acknowledge the complex culture makeup of kids today and how important they are for the future understanding and interpretation of Aboriginal culture in Australia.

The most important thing about the Koori Centre for me is that they have been there at the university for me. It doesn’t matter who you are, what you are studying or what your aspirations are, there is always someone there to talk to and to help you achieve whatever it is that you set out to do.