From 2021, there will be a total of eight undergraduates studying with the support of the program each year. Five million dollars has been set aside by the Origin Foundation – the philanthropic arm of Origin Energy - to fund the scholarships, which will be open to people from across the country, the value of each scholarship is $24,000
Origin Foundation Head Sean Barrett says the new program will help generations of students aspiring to careers in a STEM field to realise their dreams.
“The Forrest Report into Indigenous employment, commissioned by the Federal Government, made the point that “...there is no disparity in employment between first Australians with a decent education and other Australians”. So with these degrees our scholars will enter and help build that clever economy,” said Mr Barrett.
The focus of the Origin Foundation is education and approximately a quarter of its grants go to supporting Indigenous education programs. Through its Indigenous Programs Unit, Nura Gili, UNSW provides entry pathways for Indigenous students in all faculties and programs, and supports them throughout their studies.
Assoc Prof Reuben Bolt, Nura Gili director, said philanthropy had allowed UNSW to offer one of the best tertiary study environments in Australia for Indigenous students. It’s a claim backed up by the highest retention rate of Indigenous students in Australia, many of whom were the first in their family to attend university.
The scholarship recipients will have the opportunity to live at Shalom College, a long-time supporter of Indigenous access to education, or at one of UNSW’s other residential colleges.
Applications are open now and will close on 5 January 2018 at: