Seventeen year old Darwin High School student Daniel Hamilton has recently been accepted into Bond University on a scholarship to study law and international development with the help of the Foundation for Young Australian’s IMPACT program.
In 2011, Daniel was selected for the Foundation for Young Australians’ three-year young Indigenous leadership program, IMPACT. Since then he has continued to excel academically and demonstrated leadership qualities, taking on challenges and opportunities with enthusiasm and passion.
“I’m thrilled about receiving the Vice Chancellor’s scholarship from Bond University,” said Daniel.
“It has encouraged me to pursue my dreams. It has also made me realise that who you identify yourself as, what you know and what you’re willing to learn, is what it actually means to be Indigenous in this day and age.”
Nominated by their teachers and peers, Vice-Chancellor Scholarship recipients are chosen for their commitment to their community and willingness to help and inspire others. Graduates have gone on to establish exceptional careers in the corporate and political arenas.
“Overall I think the IMPACT program has been an excellent experience for me. What it’s done is given me the chance to do things that I wouldn’t have normally done, like stepping outside of my comfort zone,” Daniel says.
“It was a chance to, basically, have people support me when I needed it with different things that I was doing.”
The IMPACT program has also helped Daniel to develop the confidence to pursue his dreams.
“When I first started the program I was quite shy, and so the most obvious thing the IMPACT program helped me with was self-confidence; being able to get out there and do the things I don’t think I would’ve done before. I think, overall, the biggest thing that I’ve gotten out of the IMPACT program and the people that I’ve met is that self-confidence, and a public speaking ability that I didn’t have before.”
Along with studying for his Higher School Certificate, and participating in the IMPACT program, Daniel also became involved with the United Nations University (UNU) in Australia and the Red Cross which widened his perspective on the world.
“Through UNU I’ve been able to meet so many people from across Australia who are all interested in foreign affairs, and then through the Red Cross I’ve been able to meet young humanitarians who are trying to make a positive change in their communities,” he says.
Balancing commitments and priorities was the key to success for Daniel.
“It’s all about balancing time and recognising that while some other things are important you have to make sure that work is all done by the end of the day. So have fun but just be sure that there is stuff to do that is school work, and go back to that at the end of the day just to make sure it’s all finished.”
Darien’s enthusiasm to try new things and embrace different perspectives has given him a maturity beyond his years.
“It’s important to achieve what you want to do and to be provided with the opportunity to then fulfil those desires.”
For more information about the Foundation for Young Australian, head to www.fya.org.au