Trinity is proud to congratulate Tess Ryan, the College’s first Resident Indigenous Liaison Officer – recipient of the 2016 Melbourne Poche Visiting Graduate Research Indigenous Leadership Award.
For eight months, Tess will have a chance to work on her PhD at the University of Melbourne Poche Centre for Indigenous Health.
‘I’m doing around three hours there each day,’ she explains, ‘reading literature, writing and thinking’.
Tess is also spending her working hours as the Trinity’s Resident Indigenous Liaison Officer.
‘I act as a go-between for the Residential College’s Indigenous students. They come to me for help and I point them in the right direction.’
The Poche Award – as well as her position at Trinity – is also helping her build key networks.
‘It has introduced me to a whole group of people. Different scholars, thought leaders – at both Poche and Trinity.’
For her PhD, Tess is investigating leadership models for Indigenous women.
She commenced her PhD in 2014 after being awarded the University Medal for the First Class Honours student with the highest grade point average.
‘I’ve interviewed some 20 Indigenous women so far,’ Tess explains.
‘I’m interested in whether models of leadership vary in different geographic locations, or across different industries and sectors.’
Although raised in Brisbane, Tess’s Indigenous heritage is in Biripi Country in Taree in NSW.
She is passionate about researching and promoting Indigenous women and their leadership potential.
‘To me, my work doesn’t feel like working. It means talking to Indigenous women all day. So often, many people come to me with suggestions of people to talk to.’
‘The flipside is that Indigenous women too often go unseen. They tend to not promote themselves as leaders, and therefore the mainstream media ignores them. But that will change.’
Pictured: Trinity College Indigenous Liaison Officer, Tess Ryan; photo courtesy Michelle McAulay, University of Canberra
Read more about the Melbourne Poche Centre for Indigenous Health here