School of Indigenous Studies

Matthew Lelievre

  School of Indigenous Studies student Lilly   

I was born and raised in Derby. I began university through the Aboriginal Orientation course and once completing that entered into a Bachelor of Science (Exercise and Health).

I have always had an interest in sports so the choice to do an Exercise and Health degree came naturally, however I would have never imagined the places it would lead me to. 

Whilst studying I had the opportunity to go on exchange to the University of New Mexico in Albuquerque, USA and travelled through most of North America. I am now currently working back in my hometown of Derby for Derby Aboriginal Health Service (D.A.H.S) in the Social Emotional Well Being (SEWB) unit. It is part of the Specialist Aboriginal Mental Health Service (SAMHS) and is a national pilot model addressing Indigenous mental health issues. It has a holistic approach that encompasses not only western medicine but also cultural and spiritual health.

The Kimberley has one of the highest suicide rates in Australia, so using preventative measures through counselling is one of the main areas of work used to address this. I am also involved in healthy eating, exercise programs and have a group that goes bush once a week to talk about men’s business and general well being, parts of which I would not be able to do if not for my degree and experience in Exercise and Health Science at UWA. I am currently doing a Diploma of Counselling and considering post-graduate studies in Psychology.

Professionalism, opportunity, understanding and fun are some of the things I learnt and experienced through my degree. I really enjoyed my time at university, made many friends and would highly recommend a science degree as it has the possibility to take you many places.