School of Indigenous Studies

Student support and facilities

Students studying at Shenton House

The School of Indigenous Studies (based at Bilya Marlee) provides a resource centre for all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students on campus - this includes students in the Aboriginal Orientation Course, undergraduate and postgraduate students.

The School has a resource library and study room containing most first-year textbooks and a range of books and magazines relating to Aboriginal issues, as well as course outlines, past exam papers and faculty handbooks. It also fosters social interaction on campus and enables staff, students and the wider Aboriginal community to develop a sense of Aboriginal identity and community at UWA.

Other services and facilites at the centre include:

ABSTUDY, scholarships and cadetships, childcare, accommodation and academic advice

The Student Services team can advise on ABSTUDY, scholarships, cadetships, childcare, accommodation and financial assistance. 

Academic and course advice

Staff from this team can also assist with academic advice regarding important dates for enrolment, change of courses, adding or changing units, special consideration, approved leave, withdrawal without penalty, graduation and most student issues related to courses. 

Orientation program for first year undergraduate students

Each year, the School of Indigenous Studies will run an orientation day for all Indigenous first year students. On this day, students meet all first year Indigenous students from all over WA, and some interstate who may be in their classes. Activities include:

  • meeting staff from the School of Indigenous Studies
  • meeting staff from UWA's Student Services and learning about Student Services facilities (Study Smarter, University medical service, CareerHub, housing service)
  • information on scholarships, cadetships and other financial assistance
  • sorting out timetables, finding lecture theatres
  • finding out about text books, WebCT, Lectopia, UWA email system and facilities at Bilya Marlee, and
  • meeting second and third year Indigenous students 

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Financial Advice

The Student Services team are familiar with ABSTUDY and also cadetships and scholarships. There have been students enrolled at UWA on cadetships with various companies and government departments including Treasury, Australian Customs and Border Control, Australian Federal Police, DEEWR, DFAT, BHP Billiton Iron Ore, Wesfarmers, Woodside, Laing O'Rourke, Ngarda Civil and Mining and Rio Tinto Iron Ore. Many UWA students are also on scholarships both private and Commonwealth scholarships - see the Scholarships website for more information. 

The Student Services team can also advise on financial assistance (loans) through Student Support Services and the UWA Student Guild.  

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There are several excellent childcare centres at UWA and a number of students and staff had/have their children at these centres. Students on ABSTUDY/Centrelink benefits may qualify through JET for subsidy. For prospective students wanting childcare at UWA, you will need to book early. See the website for information on these centres: 

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There are five co-educational residential colleges at UWA:

Currently, there are over 80 Indigenous students residing in the colleges. Students need to apply by late September prior to commencing university to be fairly confident of being offered a place in one of the colleges. Applications are completed online and students are required to have 2 referee reports (also downloaded from the website for each college).

Students who are eligible for ABSTUDY can request the residential costs option, which means that ABSTUDY will pay all living/residential costs except the contingency fee which is a bond and is repaid to students on leaving college. Students normally sign a contract which commits them to living on college for the academic year. The School of Indigenous Studies supports students especially school leavers from rural/regional WA living in college as it is a safe environment, provides all meals, pastoral care, access to computer facilities, sports and also a great environment to meet people and discover and enjoy university life. As a recipient of the BHP Indigenous Iron Ore Scholarship, students living in one of the colleges will have their college fees paid.  

Accommodation outside of residential college

Accommodation in the Nedlands/Crawley area and suburbs close to university is fairly expensive. Staff from the Student Services team may be able to assist and give advice. Prospective and current students can also use the Housing service offered by UWA Student Services. 

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ITAS (Indigenous Tuition Assistance Scheme)

Students enrolled at UWA are eligible to receive tutorial assistance through ITAS. Students should see the Academic Coordinator/ITAS Coordinator, complete a form requesting tutoring and the Coordinator will match up a tutor from the current register or find a tutor through UWA and the appropriate faculty/department. Tutors are usually final year students, postgraduate students or graduates. 

Undergraduate students are entitled to 2hrs/week/subject to a total limit of 6hrs/week. Extra tuition is available during exam preparation. Tutoring can be on an individual or group basis. The time/day and venue for tuition is negotiable between student and tutor. Students who want to use rooms available through the School of Indigenous Studies should book these with reception.

Generally ITAS is not available to postgraduate students although there is a case where students are approved for tuition in an area where they have little/no background e.g., statistics are specific computer programs.  

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Study areas

Bilya Marlee provides students with a number of areas in which to study. The main study area is on the upper ground floor for undergraduates and level 2 for post-graduates. There are additional rooms for students to book for tutoring and quiet study which includes meeting rooms and the library in Bilya Marlee. 

The Reid Library (Humanities and Social Sciences) has two carrels, Rooms 228 and 229, allocated to the School of Indigenous Studies. To use these rooms, see staff at the Loans Desk in the Reid Library. There are also plenty of group study areas that can be booked in all the libraries on campus. 

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Computers, printer and photocopier access

You will need to log in with your Pheme password to use the computers at Bilya Marlee each time you want to access the web or use email.

Each student has a quota for printing so it is very important to also log out when you have finished working on the computers as other students could be using your quota.

Viewing of non-course material and sites is strictly prohibited. Internet usage is monitored, and action may be taken and internet use restricted if anyone is caught viewing such sites.

For any computer-related problems please see one of the SIS Student Services staff or call IT support on x1234.

Photocopier and printer

To use the photocopier, simply swipe your student card. All students have the same quota for usage each semester. Should your quota run out please see the School admin staff to reset your quota. If you have any problems with the photocopier please see the School admin officer.

After hours access

Bilya Marlee is open to students from 7.30am - 5.30pm Monday to Friday; access outside these hours is via swipe/using student ID card. Students have access to the building after hours. For students' security and safety it is imperative that all doors to the building are kept locked after hours. 

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Common room

The common room for both staff and students is located on the lower ground near the kitchen. It is a place where anyone can come to take time out of their schedule of work or study and relax. It's a good place to catch up with other students as well as staff at anytime.

Throughout the year, the common room is also used for various functions and meetings, and some students also find it useful to study in, although it is a common room to relax and therefore it cannot be booked as a quiet tute or study room.

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Kitchen facilities

Staff and students at Bilya Marlee have access to full kitchen facilities. Located at the lower ground, the kitchen has a large fridge/freezer, microwave, dishwasher, toaster and a kettle/urn. There is a kitchenette on each level with most of these facilities.

Access to telephone

All students have access to the student telephone, which is situated in the computer room. Only local calls are to be made on this phone - if you need to make a mobile or long-distance call, please see the admin or Student Services staff.

Remember, for any calls that are internal, only the last four digits need to be dialled. That is if you need to call our reception from any phone on campus, you only need to dial 3428 without dialling 6488 first. 

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