Noah Bedford, a 3rd year Arts/Law student, was awarded one of four undergraduate prizes in the 2017 NIRAKN essay competition for Indigenous students, for his essay entitled Indigenous Incorporation and The Complex Creativity of Self-determination. A winning essay is characterised by its in-depth research, introduction of analysis and original ideas in conjunction with key themes and issues relevant to the work of NIRAKN.
NIRAKN, the National Indigenous Research and Knowledges Network, is an organisation funded by the Australian Government's Australian Research Council, and is a national, inclusive, multidisciplinary hub and spokes model network committed to facilitating and establishing Indigenous-led research.
In 2015, Indigenous Criminology & Criminal Justice/Law graduate (2016), Danielle Hobday, and 5th year Indigenous Arts/Law student, Jenavive Westbury, were also prize-winners in this competition.
Distinguished Professor Aileen Moreton-Robinson presented Noah's prize at the NIRAKN conference dinner on Wednesday 7 June, on the Gold Coast. The conference themes were ‘Race, Whiteness and Indigeneity’, which are most relevant to Noah's Indigenous Studies major in his Arts degree. The conference brought together leading Race and Whiteness scholars to discuss concerns around race, whiteness and Indigeneity within the context of settler-colonial states in the USA, Canada, New Zealand, Australia and Hawaii.
UNSW Law Director of Indigenous Legal Education, Jeni Engel, attended the conference. She commented: 'This has been an intellectually enlightening experience and is highly relevant to my work in supporting Indigenous law students in a range of ways throughout their studies. It was a delight to see Noah be recognised for his rigorous, thoughtful work. Noah was the 2015 recipient of the Dixon Family Prize for outstanding results in first year by a former Indigenous Pre-Law Program student, and he is most definitely establishing himself as an intellectual force to be reckoned with. He is already considering undertaking postgraduate studies. I'm excited to see where his studies will lead him.'