Government scholarships

The following information was correct at the time of publication.  Please see the Literature review (Appendix C) available from this website. This section of the site will be checked and updated by  June 30 of each year from 2014 to 2019 in accordance with OLT requirements for dissemination within this or subsequently developed sites related to the findings of the research project.


1960s: Abschol, a committee of the National Union of Australian University Students, established to support university scholarships for Aboriginal students.

1990: Aboriginal Education Council (NSW) introduced a tertiary education scholarships program for Aboriginal students (Cadzow, 2010).

1999: The Minerals Council of Australia funded twenty scholarships to young Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students to "study, improve the skills at work and enhance their employment opportunities" over four years ("New Scholarship Programme for Indigenous Students," 1999).

2003: Indigenous staff scholarships (ISS) Program funded by the Federal government provides 5 scholarships a year to enable Indigenous staff (academic or general) to take 12 months leave to undertake study. The scholarships are aimed at Indigenous staff who have actively encouraged Indigenous students to participate in higher education and complete their studies.

2004: Commonwealth learning scholarships program (later Commonwealth scholarships program) was introduced to provide financial support to eligible Indigenous students to assist with the costs associated with higher education in the form of two scholarships: one for general education costs and one for accommodation costs.

2007: Endeavour Research Fellowships for Indigenous Australians introduced by the Federal Government to provide financial support for Indigenous postgraduate students and postdoctoral fellows to undertake short-term research (4–6 months) in any field of study in the Asia-Pacific or Middle East.

2009: Australian disability and Indigenous peoples' education fund was established to provide students with small grants to support their learning.

2009: Indigenous undergraduate and postgraduate scholarships directory and website (Aurora Project, 2009, 2011b).

2010: Commonwealth Scholarships Program (CSP), which assists Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students from low socio-economic backgrounds and from rural and regional areas with costs associated with higher education, became available only to commencing Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander students.

2011: Student income support reforms introduced changes to ABSTUDY, Austudy and Youth Allowance. The Student Start-up replaces the CSP's Commonwealth Education Costs Scholarship (CECS) and the Relocation Scholarship replaced the CSP's Commonwealth Accommodation Costs Scholarship (CAS), both administered by Centrelink.

2012: The special workforce participation independence arrangements for ABSTUDY and Youth Allowance that applied to students from Outer Regional, Remote and Very Remote areas was extended to students from Inner Regional areas.

2013, September: Abbott Liberal/National party coalition government in power. The Department of Education became responsible for schooling, higher education and indigenous equity.  However, the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet took responsibility for many indigenous policies and programs including the Commonwealth Scholarships Program (CSP).