Faqrun is mapping new depths in the underwater realm
Faqrun would never have been able to pursue her passion for maritime archaeology if not for the incredible scholarship opportunity allowing her to study at Flinders University - the only university in the Asia Pacific region that specialises in this field.
Hooked on the National Geographic channel and history-themed blockbusters from a young age, Faqrun discovered the new and exciting dimension of the underwater world while completing her Bachelor of Archaeology in her home city of Makassar, on the island of Sulawesi, Indonesia.
During her undergraduate studies Faqrun had the opportunity to participate in protecting and preserving one of Sulawesi’s prehistoric underwater sites in an international capacity building project that was a collaboration between Indonesia and Australia. It was through this project that Faqrun learnt about Dr Ian Moffat, Senior Research Fellow in Archaeological Science at Flinders University and an expert in maritime archaeology.
Faqrun wrote to Dr Moffat and told him of her deep interest in underwater archaeology and asked whether he would be interested in being her supervisor for a master’s degree. In response, he sent her the link to the prestigious $70,000 MaP Funded Master of Maritime Archaeology Scholarship at Flinders University.
The MaP Fund was founded by husband and wife and Flinders alumni, Professor Mark Staniforth and Dr Paddy O’Toole, specifically to advance the investigation and protection of underwater cultural heritage in the Asia and Pacific region—in particular in Australia and the ASEAN countries.
Faqrun’s scholarship application was successful and she is currently undertaking her Master of Maritime Archaeology at Flinders where she has had the opportunity to participate in the 3-D mapping of the historically significant Crowie barge wreck in the Murray River.
She says, ‘It would have been impossible for me to study here if I didn’t receive the scholarship.’
However, like so many other Flinders students, Faqrun’s research has now been disrupted by COVID-19 and she is one of 3,500 international students at the University who were not able to return home when the pandemic caused the closure of international borders.
While Faqrun’s scholarship is substantial, international enrolment fees and living expenses over 18 months will soon use up these funds and she has had to give up the seasonal part-time work of grape harvesting that was supplementing her scholarship.
She sees other international students who are really struggling, and especially those who are self-funded. 'They don’t know what to do because they cannot go to work anymore.’
‘When I saw the Vice-Chancellor’s email about providing emergency funding for students, I felt a kind of relief.’
Despite being caught far from home in a pandemic, Faqrun is relishing her Australian experience and is deeply grateful for the opportunity her benefactors have provided.
‘I am very, very thankful for the wonderful chance these donors have given, and I hope I can use this chance as well as I can, to learn so much and apply my knowledge in my home country.’
After completing her master’s, Faqrun’s dream is to return home to help advance underwater archaeology in Indonesia.
‘It’s a new thing for us—archaeology has not been a popular field for our people, so we need more archaeologists, and especially underwater, because we are an archipelago with hundreds of underwater sites that need to be researched.’
With so many students in distress during COVID-19 we are seeking help from our Flinders community to make this support as widely available as needed through the establishment of the Matthew Flinders Scholarship Fund.
Your support will help students with their essential basic living needs, such as food and rent, along with the technology to study online. Reducing the financial stress for these students will help relieve their anxiety and enable them to continue to focus on their studies.
100% of your donation will support Flinders University students through the Matthew Flinders Scholarship Fund.