Show Me The Way Blog

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Student is learning in Rome

Story courtesy the Koori Mail

ABORIGINAL student Nathan Pitt is studying in Rome after winning the inaugural Frances Xavier Conaci scholarship.

A second-year Bachelor of Psychological Science studen, Mr Pitt is studying at the Australian Catholic University (ACU) Rome Centre as part of his International Core Curriculum studies.

A Yiman (Queensland) man, Mr Pitt plans to pursue a career providing mental health support to remote communities. His particular interest is examining criminal or forensic psychology in order to work with incarcerated Indigenous people.

The Francis Xavier Conaci Scholarship recognises the life of an Indigenous seminarian and enables an Indigenous student to study at the Rome Centre.

It commemorates the story of Francis Xavier Conaci, an Aboriginal boy who in the mid-1850s was sent from New Norcia, Western Australia, to Rome to study in a Benedictine monastery.

Sadly, he died while in Rome and was buried in an unmarked grave with other Benedictine community members.

ACU and the Australian Embassy to the Holy See (Vatican) hosted a ceremony during NAIDOC Week to acknowledge the scholarship.

Mr Pitt is involved with ACU’s Weemala Indigenous Higher Education Unit and also mentors Indigenous students at a Brisbane high school.

“As a psychology student, I realise the importance of being able to work with people of all different cultures and there is no way to truly understand a culture so different to your own, unless you have lived it,” he said.

“This opportunity means that I can gain a greater understanding of the thoughts and views that supersede culture, and as such I can learn and grow as a person in ways that I couldn’t possibly do otherwise.”

Inaugural Francis Xavier Conaci scholarship recipient Nathan Pitt enjoys Rome.
Picture: Elena Varasi

The Koori Mail is a media partner of Show Me The Way.

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