Showing up for others, thanks to supporters

3 May 2022

Bursary payments helped Tim persevere in trying times

Student bursaries remain a critical lifeline for students in desperate need of financial support. For Tim Bishop, they have enabled him to focus on realising his career aspiration as a linguist whilst raising a young family.

‘Showing up’ is how Tim Bishop describes his aspirations to preserve indigenous languages. It means being accountable, caring, and present for others.

It’s fitting then that Tim is a grateful recipient of more than one financial bursary—the ultimate in understated kindness from donor to student.

Time with his family

Tim with his wife Lucy and children Texas (left) and Rena (right)

At forty-five, he isn’t the typical age of a university student. He has a wife and two kids; university is an investment in their financial future. But life experience is a benefit—his career aspiration as a linguist, after all, is to preserve language so people can share their life stories in their native tongue.

An Indigenous man raised in the city, his understanding of culture only developed in his twenties, studying Indigenous dance then joining the dance company, Bangarra.

I was learning my culture for the first time through dance. It was like I was finding the jigsaw piece that was missing in my life.
Tim Bishop

From there, he journeyed through the arts industry promoting Indigenous culture before the birth of his children made him think of finding more stability. Becoming the first in his family to gain a degree was hardly an easy decision from a financial standpoint but there was a sense of urgency attached, too.

“So many Indigenous languages are on the verge of being lost. The older people who know their language—they are not going to be around for too much longer. If I can connect to culture and I can keep it strong, I don’t really have words for how important that is.”

His majors fell naturally into place—linguistics and Indigenous cultures. But studying didn’t—it’s been a constant drain on the financial resources of a young family needing to pay rent, food and the cost of childcare.

The support of generous donors gave them help when they needed it most. Now that Tim’s almost at graduation, he’s reflecting on everyone that has got him here, and all the people he in turn will show up for.

"The foundation that my parents gave to me—that school was really important—has enabled me to be walking through this door of opportunity. I know on the other side I’ll have a lot more options on the table to look after my family and to help keep my culture for my people."

I am very grateful for the bursaries I have received – allowing me to complete my studies while raising a family.”

Scholarships and bursaries can open doors for students who might otherwise miss out. With a donation to education this tax time, you can make a difference. 


Kelli Owen
In life and death moments, clarity and purpose can be found. Kelli Owen's moment showed her that she wanted to help Aboriginal kids know their traditional language. A scholarship helped her do it.
Read Kelli's story

How your donation can change lives