Two of just three Australian students chosen to present at the World Congress on Undergrad Research (WCUR) recently were Indigenous students from Griffith.

First Nations students Eden Little and Leah Henderson, jumped at the opportunity to present their research to international peers in Germany after being selected by a reviewing panel.

“I saw that it would be a great opportunity to present my research at an international forum and see what amazing research other students are doing at an undergraduate level from around the world and disciplines outside of mine,” Leah said.

“I was elated to receive (the acceptance) notification, which also included fantastic feedback from the reviewers,” Eden said.

“My research is something I am very passionate about and I was honoured to get the opportunity to present that to other researchers around the world.”

The pair met in 2015 as scholars in the Kungullanji Summer Research Program, which offers the chance for Griffith University’s Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander undergraduates to think outside the box through research placements in a range of research centres, institutes and schools during the summer break.

Eden Little

Eden, who is a Master of Science candidate, carried out research at the Griffith Institute for Drug Discovery, conducting a chemical and biological evaluation of an Aboriginal bush medicine called Gumby Gumby (Pittosporum angustifolium) which has been traditionally used as an ailment for several diseases and illnesses, such as cancer.

Leah, a PhD candidate, focused on bullying in relation to anxiety.

“My research looked at online and face-to-face victimisation about appearance and how perpetration, witnessing, victimisation and source correlate with Appearance Anxiety in adolescents,” Leah said.

Leah Henderson

While they heard from many speakers at WCUR, a presentation by Lujendra Ojha, who discovered water on Mars, was a highlight.

“His talk was very thought provoking and inspiring,” Eden said.

Co-founder of the Kungullanji Summer Research Program Jennifer Campbell was thrilled for both students.

“I’m so proud that two of our previous summer scholars presented at the World Congress,” Jennifer said.

“What a fantastic opportunity to showcase the exciting undergraduate research being conducted at Griffith and in particular, the work of some of our emerging Indigenous researchers.”

Dean of Griffith Graduate Research School Professor Sue Berners-Price echoed Jennifer’s thoughts.

“It is really important to recognise our Indigenous students presenting their research on the world stage….. this is a fantastic achievement,” Professor Berners-Price said.

Applications are opening soon for the 2019-2020 Kungullanji Summer Research Program.