Indigenous graduate focusing on future in social activism

It is never too late to learn or to try something new.

That is the message Keith Brandy is keen to convey, as he celebrates his graduation from the University of Wollongong with his first, but hopefully not last degree. All while in his 60s.

Keith, who has graduated with a Bachelor of Arts, majoring in Indigenous Studies and History, returned to study five years ago, decades after completing his Higher School Certificate at TAFE.

It was something Keith, a proud Wiradjuri man, had always wanted to do, but as he built a life in Canberra, had a family, and worked across public service in a range of roles, there was never a right time.

“I moved to Wollongong for personal reasons and when things didn’t work out, I decided to stay on,” said Keith. “I reached a point where I had an opportunity and do something different.

“About 25 years ago, I went back to TAFE and did my Year 11 and 12 in one year. I wanted to study at ANU [in Canberra] but I wasn’t accepted into the course. But here I was, all those years later, and I had the opportunity.”

Keith was not necessarily looking for a career change. He didn’t want to become an “engineer or an accountant,” but instead wanted to gain a foundational understanding of the arts and explore his two favourite subjects, Indigenous studies and history.

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