New Scholarships boost for Notre Dame‘s Aboriginal Medical students

31 May 2019

A $160,000 scholarship fund designed to support Aboriginal students at the University of Notre Dame Australia’s School of Medicine, Fremantle will make an important contribution of improving healthcare in the country’s Aboriginal communities.

Announced on Tuesday (28 May, 2019) by St John of God Health Care, the fund will support four Aboriginal students throughout their studies at the University’s School of Medicine.

“Our School of Medicine at Fremantle and the entire University appreciate this significant gesture of support for our students and a further substantial commitment to help address the chronic shortage of Aboriginal doctors in Australia,” said Professor Selma Alliex, Pro Vice Chancellor and Head of Campus, Fremantle.

“Yet again St John of God Health Care has assisted the University in fulfilling its mission of caring for disadvantaged students. For this support we are very grateful.

“Nationwide to date only 427 Aboriginal students have graduated with a medical degree with a further 325 currently studying medicine.

“When you compare that number to the 3,500 Aboriginal doctors required to reach population parity you begin to understand the challenges associated with Aboriginal heath care,” she added.

The St John of God Health Care scholarships will help build on The School of Medicine’s Fremantle’s achievements in recruiting, supporting and graduating students. Recently the first two Aboriginal students graduated from Fremantle and currently 13 Aboriginal students are among the school’s total cohort of 400.

The scholarships will be provided to students commencing study this year. They will receive $10,000 per year, a total of $40,000 over the four-year degree program.

“This level of financial support will make a huge difference to the recipients.  Our medicine course is intense and these scholarships will greatly reduce the pressure of having to work long hours to make ends meet,” said Professor Alliex.

Photo: Associate Professor Clive Walley, Notre Dame Director Indigenous Education; Professor Shirley Bowen, CEO, St John of God Subiaco Hospital;, Professor Selma Alliex, Notre Dame Pro Vice Chancellor and Head of Fremantle Campus; and Professor David Paul, Notre Dame Associate Dean, Aboriginal Health.

Media Contact: Breyon Gibbs : +61 8 9433 0569 |