School of Indigenous Studies

Tracy Skegg (Lane-Hudson)

  School of Indigenous Studies student Tracy   

My name is Tracy Skegg, I’m an Aboriginal woman from Kalkadoon (Carpet Snake people from Emu foot lands) on Mum’s side and have links to Kokomini on Dad’s side.

I never dreamed of going to university when I moved in the early 1990s from Queensland to Western Australia and started working with TAFE.  I’d only gone through to year 11 at school and wasn’t getting much by way of career opportunities. 

When my sister Carly wanted to study in WA I’d already learned about the support system at UWA at Aboriginal Programmes (now SIS) for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students, so she started studying at UWA.  It took her a couple of years to talk me into it, but I also started studying there. 

We were both studying Arts and it was strange to follow my little sister, having similar interests we even studied with some of the same lecturers.  Our family was so proud when we both graduated.  I completed a Bachelor of Arts with double majors in English and Ancient History and graduated in 1998. 

What to do after studies was something I wasn’t sure about for ages. I got interested in library work through TAFE and spent time managing the Aboriginal Resource Collection for over 35 centres across the state offering courses to Aboriginal students. I was also influenced by a fellow Aboriginal student who started working with the State Library of WA.  In 1996 I won the only Indigenous cadetship ever offered by the National Library of Australia (NLA), and when I finished my studies I moved to Canberra.  I found that my studies in mythology and literature provided a solid foundation for my career as a librarian. 

Within two years of moving to Canberra, I completed a Graduate Diploma in Library and Information Management at the University of Canberra. I was the only Indigenous librarian at NLA for 9 ½ years, and I helped build the NLA’s Indigenous profile both nationally and internationally. In 2005 I won a promotion to the Library at the Commonwealth Department of Family and Community Services, and over the past seven years I’ve seen two departmental name changes and two federal governments. 

In 2009 I moved to IT project management. I’ve helped refresh and install IT infrastructure in over 70 remote sites across Australia. I have also completed a Cert IV in Training and Assessment, as well as facilitator training, and for three years been a facilitator in FaHCSIA’s Cultural Appreciation Program. In 2012 I began studying a Diploma in Project Management, so I’ll gain more understanding of the theory behind my project management work. It’s interesting that my studies in Aboriginal History at UWA have helped me in my work in libraries, facilitating and project management, as my focus has always been Indigenous issues. 

I enjoy studying, learning new things and meeting new people. In my personal life, I met and married my husband and we have a gorgeous daughter named Gabrielle, which we shorten to Elly.  My days at UWA were tough at times, but also so much fun.  I have many fond memories of my time there and I treasure my friendships made through Aboriginal Programmes (now SIS) which helped me get into UWA, through to graduation and beyond.