Indigenous student offered doctoral study in Cambridge after CQUni Honours year

Published:24 April 2015

Allanah Hunt shows she has the 'write' stuff for success. Here she is pictured in Cambridge.

Young Indigenous woman Allanah Hunt has been offered a place in the PhD program at Anglia Ruskin University in Cambridge next year, after completing her Arts Honours program at CQUniversity.

She plans to focus on 'Transformative Works' to illustrate how fan fiction is a form of literature.

As an undergraduate, Allanah received a 'highly commended' for her young adult fantasy novel, Lyoness: The Inhabitation, in the national Kuril Dhagun Indigenous writing awards.

"This recognition cemented in me that I wanted to be a writer and was capable of doing it," she says. 

Backed by an Arrow Energy Indigenous Scholarship and studying via distance education from her home in the Brisbane Valley, Allanah has consistently demonstrated her academic prowess.

A string of high distinctions enabled her successful application for the Aurora Indigenous Scholars International Study Tour to the United Kingdom and USA at the end of last year, with additional travel support coming from CQUniversity.

"The Aurora trip aims to get Aboriginal students to do some of their study overseas to expand their academic and personal experiences," Allanah says.

"There were so many highlights. To be able to talk to professors who have written books I have read was amazing and the fact that they were interested in what I had to say was even further amazing.

"The absolute highlight for me was talking to a professor in the UK. I pitched my idea for a PhD project to her, and not only did she like the sound of the idea, she also said she would love to supervise it. That was a spectacular moment for me."

Now back in Australia, Allanah is focused on her Honours project, writing about Aboriginal deaths in custody.

.She will try to squeeze in recreation time to play bass guitar in her family band called The Huntsmen, and is also taking ice-skating lessons for fun and fitness.

"It would be great if I could one day do three full spin rotations without falling over," Allanah says.

The very focused student says it's ironic that "in the same year I came in Highly Commended in the Kuril Dhagun awards, I was told I could not write and to basically go back to my day job by another set of people".

"In the beginning as well, when I was wanting to try to apply for university to study writing, I was told to study something else because it was unlikely that anything would come from writing.

"I think it just goes to show that you have to do what makes you happy. Even if it doesn't work out exactly the way you want it to, you will have a wonderful time trying. Also, no one should give up just on the notion that they might not succeed."