Release type: Media Release


Indigenous scholars awarded for academic excellence


The Hon Christopher Pyne MP
Minister for Education
Leader of the House

Three inspiring Indigenous Australians will undertake study at two of the world’s most prestigious universities after receiving the Charlie Perkins Scholarship in Canberra today.

Recipients of the Charlie Perkins Scholarship undertake postgraduate courses at either Oxford or Cambridge University in the United Kingdom.

Minister for Education, the Hon Christopher Pyne MP attended the ceremony, hosted by the British High Commissioner His Excellency Paul Madden CMG, and said the scholarships support Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people to become not only leaders in their field of study, but also leaders of the nation.

“This year’s winners Jessica Buck, Jessyca Hutchens and Tamara Murdock were chosen for their remarkable leadership qualities and academic excellence and it is exciting to imagine what they will go on to achieve,” Mr Pyne said.
The recipients of the 2014 Charlie Perkins Scholarship are:

  • Jessica Buck: Jessica completed a Bachelor of Biomedical Science and a Diploma of Languages (Japanese) at the University of Newcastle. She received the University of Newcastle Undergraduate Scholarship in 2010; after being awarded both the Premier’s Award for Outstanding Performance in the High School Certificate (HSC), and the Nanga Mai award for best performance by an Indigenous student in the HSC in 2008. In keeping with her interest in cancer and neuroscience research, Jessica has been accepted to undertake an MSc in Neuroscience at Oxford University.
  • Jessyca Hutchens: Jessyca graduated from the University of Western Australia with a Bachelor of Laws/Bachelor of Arts in 2010 after being awarded the UWA Graduates Association Prize in Fine Arts in 2005, the Hackett Foundation Alumni Honours Scholarship in 2008 and the Dr Dorothy W & Dr Robert Collins Prize for Indigenous Law Students in 2010. Jessyca has been accepted to study the DPhil in Fine Arts at the Ruskin School of Art at the University of Oxford.
  • Tamara Murdock: Tamara graduated from Edith Cowan University with a Bachelor of Science (Environmental Management) in 2011. Tamara’s achievements include her placement on the Edith Cowan University Dean’s List for 2011, being inducted as a member of the Golden Key International Honour Society and receiving the Yamatji Marlpa Corporation Values Award in 2013. She has been accepted to undertake an MPhil in Geography and the Environment at Oxford University.

Mr Pyne said that increasing opportunities for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students is an essential part of the Government’s vision for a world class higher education system.

“I look forward to celebrating the successes of these outstanding young Australians and those of future recipients of this award,” Mr Pyne said.

The Australian Government will continue funding the Charlie Perkins Scholarships through a three year, $2.2 million grant to the Aurora Project.

The funding will also enable Aurora to continue the Indigenous Scholars International Study Tour, the Aspiration Initiative’s Academic Enrichment Programme, and the Indigenous Scholarships website.

For more information on the scholarships, visit:
For more information on Aurora’s Indigenous education projects visit: