A Murdoch University student has won the 2014 NAIDOC Perth Tertiary Scholar of the Year award.
Jenna Woods, 23, from Gosnells, picked up the accolade at NAIDOC Perth’s awards night earlier this month after being nominated by her proud mum Kerry Woods.
“It was a real surprise to me because the other finalist was amazing!” Said Jenna. “But I’m very excited to be recognised in this way and it will spur me on as I continue with my studies.”
Jenna is studying full time for a double major in Community Development and Politics and International Studies at Murdoch.
She also represented Western Australia at the 2014 National Indigenous Youth Parliament and is an active member of Kulbardi Aboriginal Centre and Murdoch’s Indigenous Collective.
In 2013, she won the Vice Chancellor’s Commendation for Academic Excellence and presented at the National Youth Affairs Conference in Adelaide for her work on a project exploring Indigenous young people’s street presence in and around the Perth to Armadale rail line.
Jenna’s mum Kerry Woods said she had nominated her daughter for the award because she had achieved so much at Murdoch and beyond while pursuing her passions.
“Her marks have been outstanding despite everything else she has going on in her life,” she said. “I felt she deserved some recognition which is why I nominated her.”
After finishing her degree, Jenna is hoping to do honours and then move into the community sector. Although she has not definitively decided which area she would like to work in, she has a passion for working with young mothers and the domestic violence and substance abuse fields.
Jenna hopes to one day return to Murdoch and undertake a PhD.