One man’s journey from boyhood to university

Palawa man Brendan Murray isn’t one to make a big deal about his journey from boyhood to where he is now – an Aboriginal student engagement officer at the University of Tasmania.

He tells his story in a matter-of-fact way. It’s an honest account from an Aboriginal man who at 26 years old realised he was illiterate and now as a university student hopes to inspire others to seek out further education and to never stop learning.

Based at the Cradle Coast Campus, Riawunna Centre, Brendan will deliver a lecture on July 21 as part of the University of Tasmania’s Aboriginal Seminar Series, a program of presentations, launches and yarns celebrating the diversity of Aboriginality. This lecture will be hosted by Big hART at The Watershed in Wynyard.

The lecture series focuses on the transformative power of education, culture, and resilience in the context of contemporary Tasmania.

“I’m sharing my life story to help Aboriginal children, all children, get the best education outcomes out of life and bring about positive change on the North-West Coast,” Brendan said.

He is currently studying a Bachelor of Arts with the University of Tasmania with plans of becoming an historian.

Brendan will share this story of growing up on the North-West Coast, overcoming racism, violence and illiteracy to achieving dreams he never thought possible.

He will talk about the major turning point in his life and how now, he is working to help others to start studying in their 40s and 50s.

In his current role with Riawunna, Brendan works with Aboriginal students and Torres Strait Islander students in a new culturally welcoming space at the Cradle Coast campus, assisting with study and guidance.

Riawunna recognises the barriers faced by Aboriginal people and is committed to Aboriginal student success by creating a sense of belonging and connection for students and staff.

The Aboriginal Seminar Series Beau and the Hybrids with Brendan Murray is at The Watershed in Wynyard on Thursday, 21 July, 2022, starting at 5.30pm.

Tickets are available at

Image: Brendan Murray is an Aboriginal student engagement officer at the University of Tasmania.

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