Marrung Scholarships Open Pathways To Excellence

Twenty Victorian students will share in $100,000 in scholarships, thanks to the Andrews Labor Government.

Minister for Education James Merlino and Minister for Aboriginal Affairs Natalie Hutchins today announced that applications are open for the 2018 Marrung Education Scholarship Awards.

Twenty two-year scholarships worth $5,000 will be awarded to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander government school students to help them thrive in the final years of their secondary education.

More than 160 students have shared in over $820,000 worth of scholarships since the program started in 2009.  The scholarships recognise students who demonstrate a high potential to succeed in their chosen pathway, including strong academic results and dedicated involvement in their local Aboriginal community.

Recipients of the 2017 scholarships came from 17 different government schools across Victoria. The students are seeking to pursue careers in professions such as law, psychiatry, design, sports, the arts, and physiotherapy.

Acacia Scott, a Besi woman from Mabuiag Island, received a 2017 Marrung Education Scholarship to help her to achieve her ambition to work in the legal profession.

Other winners including Rosebud Secondary College students Campbell Robbins and Bailey Corbett, who are pursuing their respective goals of working as a park ranger and in fashion design.

The number of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students completing the Victorian Certificate of Education, Victorian Certificate of Applied Learning or VET in Schools Certificate has been steadily increasing over the past five years. Figures have more than doubled from 271 students in 2011 to 570 in 2016.

The 2018 Marrung Education Scholarships close on November 10, 2017. Nominations can be submitted here.

Quotes attributable to Minister for Education James Merlino

“We developed the Marrung Aboriginal Education Plan 2016-2026 in partnership with the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community to help young Victorians succeed in their education choices.”

“These scholarships are a key part of this plan – we want Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students to realise the full benefits of our education reforms across early childhood, schools and vocational education and training.”

Quote attributable to Minister for Aboriginal Affairs Natalie Hutchins

“The Marrung Education Scholarships will help improve education, health and employment outcomes for Aboriginal Victorian students. It’s an important step forward that I am proud to support.”

Quote attributable to President of the Victorian Aboriginal Education Association Incorporated Geraldine Atkinson

“The scholarships have provided our students with opportunities as they progress through higher levels of education. In 2016, we had 570 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students graduate from Year 12, and we will continue to see this number grow.”

Background Information: Marrung Aboriginal Education Plan 2016-2026

Marrung has been developed with the Victorian Aboriginal Education Association Incorporated, along with the Victorian Aboriginal Child Care Agency and the Victorian Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisation.

It includes:

  • A cultural understanding and safety program to build the capacity of schools to better support students.
  • Extended Early Years Literacy and Numeracy Program, providing an extra two years of support for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students in years four and five who have not met National Minimum Standard in year three NAPLAN.
  • Reviewing and expanding the Academy of Excellence to encourage more Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students to complete Year 12 and continue on to further study.
  • Children’s Court Liaison Officers to support Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children and young people who appear before the courts to remain engaged, or to re-engage, with education.

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