Koorie students celebrate excellence in education

Winner of the 2017 La Trobe University Vice-Chancellor's Award, Julia Bruhn, is calling on other students to join the Koorie Academy of Excellence and realise their dreams.

The 17-year-old Montmorency Secondary School student was selected as Most Outstanding Student at the Academy's graduation this year.

She is one of 11 Year 12 Koorie students to graduate from the Academy in 2017.

'The Academy has been a great second support for me, outside of my school and my family,' Julia says.

'I gained confidence in myself, developed leadership skills and learned a lot about my Indigenous heritage.'

'I would definitely recommend the Academy to other Koorie students. I had a really good experience. You are offered lots of support — study groups, accelerated learning and extension programs as well as camps, community and sporting events.'

'It also gave me the opportunity to engage and connect with different communities.'

Julia hopes for a career in media.

'My first preference is to study Media and Communications at La Trobe University next year,' she says.

Julia's award recognises her outstanding academic achievements and involvement in the Academy.

In Year 11, she successfully completed two VCE subjects — media and psychology — and was awarded Racing Victoria's prestigious Darby McCarthy Scholarship.

'I received $5000 towards further education and had the privilege of doing a four-week work placement at Racing Victoria, which further inspired my interest in media,' she says.

The Koorie Academy of Excellence

This year, 67 students from 27 schools in Northern Metropolitan Melbourne participated in the Academy's cultural, academic and leadership programs.

The Academy provides out-of-school support to Koorie secondary school students, and encourages them to complete school and pursue further education and training.

Funded by the Department, the Academy is delivered in partnership with the Victorian Aboriginal Education Association Incorporated (VAEAI).

The success of the Academy has prompted the State Government to expand it beyond the North Western Victoria Region to another three Victorian regions. The expanded Academy will support up to 340 Koorie students each year from 2018-19.


Marrung: Aboriginal Education Plan 2016-2026 (Marrung) commits to expanding the Academy model to each of the Department's regions across Victoria.

Marrung is a 10-year plan that aims to improve outcomes for Koorie children and learners.

It has been developed in partnership with VAEAI, along with the Victorian Aboriginal Child Care Agency and the Victorian Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisation.

Marrung aims to give schools, teachers and students the support they need so that every Koorie Victorian can realise the benefits of the Education State reform agenda, achieve their potential, and feel strong in their cultural identity. 

​For more information, see: