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Macquarie University is committed to creating our future Indigenous leaders. Through Walanga Muru - the Office of Indigenous Strategy, our University provides Indigenous students with tailored, individual support services and a culturally safe place for Indigenous students to excel in their learning journey and complete their chosen degree. 

The Welcome to Country video is performed by Darug community members Jacinta Tobin and Aunty Sandra Lee.

Walanga Muru - Office of Indigenous Strategy acknowledges the traditional custodians of the land upon which our office is situated, the Wattamattageal people of the Darug nation, whose cultures and customs have nurtured, and continue to nurture, this land, since the Dreamtime. We pay our respects to the Darug people and the Wattamattageal clan, the Wullamai black snapper fish people.

"The Wullamai (local totem) is a shy but clever fish, who uses the shadows and patterns created by the mangroves to protect the younger fish. The mangroves are their nursery, their school and their home. The mangroves represent life - the obstacles and tangles that we need to navigate. Once we learn the right path to take, we are safe in that knowledge and in our lives. At Walanga Muru - Office of Indigenous Strategy, we seek to assist our students to navigate the obstacles and tangles of life, to emerge as strong, resilient leaders for the future."

We also wish to acknowledge the Elders of the Darug nation, past, present and future, and pay our respects to them. We further wish to honour and pay our respects to the ancestors and spirits of this land, and humbly ask that all members of the Macquarie University community are granted with the capacity to wingara - to think, to learn and to walk safely upon this pemul, this land. The University continues to develop respectful and reciprocal relationships with all Indigenous people in Australia and with other Indigenous people throughout the world.

Walanga Muru provides quality support services to Indigenous students, including academic advice, enrolment support, tailored inductions, alternative entry pathways, tutoring, and scholarship support. The aim of Walanga Muru is to:

  • lead in the provision of high-quality educational experiences and outcomes for Indigenous people
  • promote and foster educational and employment outcomes for Indigenous people
  • provide a culturally inclusive environment for Indigenous students and staff
  • provide the University with leadership and guidance on cultural matters.

Walanga Muru is a Darug language name meaning 'follow your path'. At Walanga Muru, we seek to support and assist students to choose the right path to take, to navigate the obstacles and tangles of life, and to emerge as strong, resilient leaders.

The vision of Walanga Muru is to grow our future Indigenous leaders in their chosen fields and to build the educational aspirations of our youth. We provide a culturally safe 'home away from home' for Indigenous students while they pursue their tertiary aspirations.

Walanga Muru - Office of Indigenous Strategy provides a unique space for Indigenous students, a home away from home where students can relax, study and feel a sense of belonging while achieving their educational goals. We provide a culturally appropriate and welcoming environment for Indigenous students while supporting them in all aspects of their life at Macquarie University. Our support services include:

  • academic advice and support
  • access to facilities (computer lab, common room, dedicated library space)
  • cultural knowledge and support
  • enrolment and tailored inductions
  • Indigenous cadetships
  • mentoring
  • referral and pastoral care
  • scholarship support
  • tutoring through the Walanga Muru Tutorial Program.

To begin your journey contact:

Emily Sutton
Team Leader of Indigenous Support Services
T: (02) 9850 4209
Building W3A, Room 309

View Emily Sutton's profile

Jesse Ingrey
Indigenous Student Support Officer
T: (02) 9850 4498
Building W3A, Room 307

View Jesse Ingrey's profile


Cultural safety is a key component for the wellbeing and success of Indigenous students studying at the University. Walanga Muru strives to provide a culturally inclusive and safe environment for all Indigenous students and staff, through the offering of physical spaces and supportive assistance.

Cultural safety is achieved for all Indigenous staff and students by:

  • providing Indigenous students with access to Walanga Muru, a culturally safe space for Indigenous students to study, relax and meet other students
  • employing Indigenous staff at Walanga Muru to support Indigenous students
  • providing Indigenous students with access to the Walanga Muru computer lab, kitchen and common room
  • offering Indigenous students access to Bubuk, an Indigenous library space
  • providing Indigenous students with access to a range of academic support services
  • providing ongoing cultural development support to Indigenous students
  • offering the opportunity for Indigenous students to participate in the Indigenous Cadetship Program 'Nanga Mai'
  • building reciprocal relationships between Walanga Muru and academic support services in each faculty
  • providing opportunities for faculties to build their cultural capability and understanding about Aboriginal culture.

The Walanga Muru Cultural Adviser, Sue Pinckham, aims to build the cultural capability of all staff and students, and foster Macquarie's relationships with Indigenous communities. Sue brings her wealth of community and service provision experiences to supporting our Indigenous students.

The role of the Cultural Adviser includes:

  • promoting Indigenous students' self-confidence in their cultural and heritage
  • fostering Indigenous students' understanding of Aboriginal culture
  • building Indigenous students' resiliency and aspirations
  • introducing Indigenous students to local Aboriginal communities
  • working with academic staff to better understand the cultural diversity of Indigenous students
  • sharing learnings and life experiences about Aboriginal heritage and history
  • building trust and respect between the University and local Indigenous communities.

Ask a question

Sue Pinckham
Cultural Adviser
T: (02) 9850 8653
Building W3A, Room 308

View Sue Pinckham's profile


The Walanga Muru Tutorial Program (WMTP) is a Commonwealth-funded program designed to close the gap that exists between the educational outcomes of Indigenous Australians and other Australians in tertiary education. The program provides free tutoring for Indigenous undergraduate students for 20 hours per subject per semester, and 5 hours per subject for Postgraduate students.


Students can access the online system to apply for tutors each semester. The Commonwealth Programs Officer will match students with a suitable tutor for each requested unit

Apply here

Why should I apply?

WMTP assistance is a useful tool for any undergraduate Indigenous student, whether you have average pass grades or high distinctions. It's a great way to get individualised assistance in areas that you may need improvement on, such as specific content, referencing, academic research processes, exam preparation or essay writing skills, as well as developing the outstanding skills you already have.

Previous participants have enrolled in WMTP for the following assistance:

  • developing a specific skill
  • improving their grades or excelling in their grades (ie going from a credit to a distinction, or from a distinction to a high distinction)
  • maintaining a grade point average
  • preparing for exams
  • proofreading assignments
  • understanding a specific subject

WMTP tutor FAQ
Frequently asked questions and answers for tutors


Ask a question

Emma Hardcastle
Commonwealth Programs Support Officer (WMTP)
T: (02) 9850 9973
F: (02) 9850 7735
Building W3A, Room 305

At Walanga Muru, we offer all Indigenous students access to an Academic Support Coordinator to assist you with:

  • assignments
  • career development
  • personal development and life skills
  • professional development
  • study skills
  • access to our services and resources.

Ask a question

Dana Pillay
Academic Support Coordinator
Building W3A, Room 306

Availability: Monday to Friday by appointment or drop in
Consultations: One-to-one or group consultations available

Computer lab

Walanga Muru's computer lab is located in Building W3A, Room 301. Computer lab includes: nine desktop computers with internet access and free printing.

Common room and kitchen 

Walanga Muru's common room is located in Building W3A, Room 304. Common room includes: lounges, tables, chairs, lockers and a fridge for students to access and use.

We also have a kitchenette located in Building W3A, Room 313. Kitchen includes: tea, coffee and breakfast cereals for students to use.  

For student assistance in the computer lab or common room:

  • IT help use the phone in the common and dial 4357 or log a ticket with OneHelp.
  • Emergencies contact Security dial 7112

Bubuk Room, Library


The Bubuk Room is a culturally safe learning space located on Level 1 of the Macquarie University Library. Room includes: computers with internet access. Available for individual learning or group work with your peers.

To access student spaces contact

Emily Sutton
Team Leader of Indigenous Support Services
T: (02) 9850 4209
Building W3A, Room 309

View Emily Sutton's profile

Macquarie University offers a range of scholarships for Indigenous students. Most have a strong emphasis on social inclusion and equity and are awarded on the basis of financial need and/or other hardship. Others recognise factors such as academic excellence or sporting achievement.

Indigenous Commonwealth scholarships

Eligibility: Indigenous students with demonstrated financial hardship commencing tertiary study for the first time.

Value: $4823 (once in a lifetime scholarship).

Applications: Applications for 2016 are now open at the UAC website.

The Indigenous Access Scholarship (IAS) assists Indigenous students with financial need who are commencing tertiary study for the first time. It is a once in a lifetime scholarship only. 

Read more

Eligibility: Indigenous students with demonstrated financial hardship

Value: $2543 per annum

Applications: Applications for 2016 are now open at the UAC website.

The Indigenous Commonwealth Education Costs Scholarship (ICECS) assists Indigenous students with demonstrated financial hardship with the costs associated with higher education. ICECS is tenable for a maximum of four years of undergraduate study (subject to continuing eligibility).
Read more

Eligibility: Indigenous students with demonstrated financial hardship relocating from a regional or remote area of Australia.

Value: $5087 pa (paid in two instalments of $2543.50 each).

Applications: Applications for 2016 are now open at the UAC website.

Indigenous Commonwealth Accommodation Scholarships (ICAS) are open to commencing and continuing Indigenous students from regional and remote areas of Australia who have a demonstrated current financial hardship and who had to, or will have to, relocated to undertake their current higher education course of study.
The scholarship is tenable for a maximum of four years of undergraduate study.

Read more

Macquarie University scholarships

In addition to Indigenous Commonwealth scholarships, Macquarie University also offers the following scholarships for Indigenous students.

Eligibility: Students relocating from regional and rural Australia.

Value: A fully funded standard room at DLC for up to four years of undergraduate study

Applications: Applications for 2016 are now open.

This Macquarie University and Dunmore Lang College Regional and Rural scholarship was created in recognition of the initial and ongoing costs for a student relocating from regional and rural Australia to study at Macquarie University. Recipients of the Regional and Rural Scholarship also receive other forms of support.

Read more

Eligibility: New or continuing RMC students with demonstrated financial need.

Value: $3000 tenable for one year.

Application: Applications are now OPEN for 2016.

The purpose of the scholarship is to assist students in financial need with accommodation costs support while living in RMC. In addition to lodging the online application above, students also need to apply for a scholarship on the Robert Menzies college website. Preference will be given to students who have not received the scholarship before.

Read more

Eligibility: New incoming undergraduate student in any discipline who is relocating from a regional or rural area to study at Macquarie University and is able to demonstrate financial hardship.

Value: $10174 per year (2015 value), renewable for up to four (4) years contingent on meeting ongoing eligibility requirements.

Application: Applications for 2016 are open now at

The Macquarie University Alumni Accomodation Scholarship was established to assist students who are able to demonstrate financial hardship (applicants need to be in receipt of Youth Allowance or any other means tested Commonwealth support) and that they are relocating from a rural area to study at Macquarie University.

Read more

Eligibility: Postgraduate student of Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander descent.
Value: $2,500 tenable for one year only.
Application: Applications are now open. To apply complete the online application form.  Applications close 8 January 2016.
The Macquarie University Garrawi Indigenous Scholarship was established in 2005 to encourage Indigenous students to undertake postgraduate studies at Macquarie University. It is awarded to an Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander person on the basis of academic merit and demonstrated commitment to Indigenous community advancement.
Read more

Other scholarships

For other Indigenous scholarships, visit The Aspiration Initiative

For other Macquarie University scholarships

Keep in touch with Walanga Muru or our Coursework Scholarships and Prizes Unit as scholarships sometimes become available outside of normal scholarship periods through external funding or donations to the University.  

Ask a question

Coursework Scholarships and Prizes Unit
Lincoln Building, Level 3
Macquarie University
North Ryde NSW 2109
T: 02 9850 7337/6401

Want a head start on your career?

Nanga Mai offers a unique opportunity for Macquarie's Indigenous students to gain paid practical work experience that is relevant to their degree and in their chosen field of study.

Our individualised approach to this program allows students to complete work placements across corporate, not for profit, and community organisations, such as ANZ, Redfern Legal Centre and Johnson and Johnson Medical, providing opportunities for cadets to develop relationships with national and international organisations.

The program is designed with student success and completion at university being the priority and, as such, there is flexibility around work days and hours. A work placement is usually one day a week during a session and two full weeks during session breaks. The Cadets Relationship Officer provides ongoing support to each cadet throughout their placement and also meets with cadets and supervisors regularly to ensure every success at each placement. These individualised meetings also provide opportunities for cadets to unlock and plan career goals and their future.  

Cadets are able to access professional development workshops, such as Indigenous Leadership, giving them further opportunities to become successful students, employees and community members.


Here is what some of our current cadets had to say about the experience:

Sarah, third-year student, Bachelor of Business Administration

"The Walanga Muru Cadetship program has given me opportunities I could otherwise only imagine having. Having access to career experience, whilst being paid to work with private companies and senior academics is both beneficial now and in the long run for when I graduate. When I go into job interviews I will be referencing my professionalism, skill set, knowledge and connections made in my time as a cadet and will always reflect positively on my experiences as a cadet at Macquarie University."


Jhade, fourth-year student, Bachelor of Education

"My cadetship has given me the opportunity to gain awesome work experience that is relevant to my degree and fostered both my personal and professional development. Within my first month at the placement, I was lucky enough to travel to Port Macquarie for two days of science engagement for primary and secondary students, which was fantastic.

It's a great privilege to be able to undertake paid work in a field that I am so passionate about while still studying full-time. Each day brings a new experience, a new challenge and I am always learning. I'd definitely recommend anyone to do a cadetship at Macquarie."

Ask a question

Teneale Lavender
Cadets Relationship Officer
Building W3A, Room 316
T: (02) 9850 9970

View Teneale Lavender's profile

The annual National Indigenous Tertiary Education Student Games involves various universities across Australia. The games are an opportunity for Indigenous university students to participate in sporting events each year. Students have the opportunity to compete at a national level in mixed sports, some of which include basketball, netball, volleyball, futsal, touch football, and an Indigenous cultural game.

In 2015, two Macquarie teams attended the games at the University of Newcastle. There were 29 teams and 420 Indigenous students who attended from all over Australia. The teams competed in basketball, touch, netball and volleyball.

The games are always filled with fun and banter across all teams. On the court and field, our teams show great sportsmanship, teamwork, and lots of humour. Each evening usually involves a planned social event, which is consumed of chatter, dancing and lots of laughter. By the end of the week, your Facebook friends have grown in number and you have a lifetime of memories to look back on.

The annual event is a wonderful opportunity to get social, get sporty and get inspired by fellow Indigenous university students. It's a week of community, pride in culture, and athleticism.

The SBS NITV Indigenous Media Mentorship Program is open to Macquarie's Indigenous students who are enrolled in the Bachelor of Arts (Media) and associated media courses. 

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander event calendar 2016


Thursday 14 January

Enrolment session 1

Friday 15 January

Alternate Entry Testing

Tuesday 26 January

Australia Day/ Survival Day/ Invasion Day


Tuesday 9 February

Enrolment session 2

Thursday 11 February

Walanga Muru's orientation for new students

Saturday 13 February

National Apology


Thursday 17 March

National Close the Gap Day

Monday 21 March

Harmony Day


Thursday 26 May

National Sorry Day

Thursday 26 May - Sunday 10 July

Guringai Festival

Friday 27 May

Anniversary of the 1967 Referendum

Friday 27 May - Friday 3rd June

Reconciliation Week


Friday 3 June

Mabo Day


Friday 1 July

Coming of the Light

Sunday 3 - Sunday 10 July



Thursday 4 August

National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Children's Day

Tuesday 9 August

International Day of the World's Indigenous People


Wednesday 7 September

Indigenous Literacy Day

Wednesday 7 September

Patyegarang Oration

Building W3A, Room 307
Macquarie University, North Ryde NSW 2109
T: (02) 9850 4498 
F: (02) 9850 7735