$5.9m Investment For First Nations Cancer Scholarship Program

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$5.9m Investment For First Nations Cancer Scholarship Program

The Albanese Labor Government, in partnership with the Aurora Education Foundation is calling for applications for a ground-breaking new scholarship program for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students, health professionals and researchers in the field of cancer. 

The First Nations Cancer Scholarship, led by Aurora and backed by funding from the Australian Government through Cancer Australia, represents a significant investment of up to $5.9 million over four years. 

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander graduate students, early career researchers and health professionals can apply through www.firstnationscancerscholarship.com for financial support of up to $120,000 annually for up to 3 years, as well as academic, wellbeing and community support. 

Cancer remains the leading cause of mortality among Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians, yet less than 1% of health professionals identify as First Nations. 

Recognising the urgent need to strengthen the Indigenous cancer workforce, this scholarship program seeks to grow the capacity of Indigenous health professionals and researchers through advanced studies and research opportunities. 

The goal of the scholarship program is to expand the network of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people actively involved in cancer control, further embedding Indigenous voices into cancer policy making, research and care delivery. 

Eligible candidates for the First Nations Cancer Scholarship must be Indigenous students engaged in full-time postgraduate studies or research within a cancer-related field covering health, research, or policy.  

Expressions of Interest for the First Nations Cancer Scholarship are currently being accepted until 30 August 2024.  

To learn more about the scholarship program and to submit an application, visit www.firstnationscancerscholarship.com


Quotes attributable to Assistant Minister for Indigenous Health Senator, the Hon Malarndirri McCarthy 

"I am thrilled to announce the launch of the First Nations Cancer Scholarship, a landmark initiative aimed at supporting a stronger First Nations health and research workforce.

“This scholarship represents a significant investment in Indigenous talent and expertise, paving the way for advancements that can make a real difference to people with cancer in our communities.”

"By providing financial support and resources for Indigenous students pursuing postgraduate studies or research in cancer-related fields, the Government is not only investing in their future but also in the health and well-being of our communities. 

“This scholarship demonstrates our commitment to Closing the Gap in health outcomes.

"I encourage all eligible Indigenous students to seize this opportunity and apply for the First Nations Cancer Scholarship. Your research and expertise have the power to make a real difference in the lives of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples affected by cancer.”  


Quotes attributable to Aurora Education Foundation CEO Leila Smith  

“For almost 20 years, Aurora has championed Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander scholars to reach right to the top of the academic sphere, to be leaders in their fields and to create change in community. The launch of our First Nations Cancer Scholarship is an important step in this journey.”  

“This Scholarship creates opportunities for the best and brightest Indigenous scholars to develop specialist skills and expertise that will strengthen how cancer-related professions lead and contribute to cancer control. I am excited about the potential of this Scholarship and look forward to the announcement of the successful scholars later this year.” 


Quotes attributable to Cancer Australia CEO Professor Dorothy Keefe: 

“By providing avenues for exceptional Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander individuals to cultivate specialised skills and expertise, we aim to fortify the leadership and contributions of cancer-related professionals in advancing cancer control efforts nationwide.” 

"As we work towards building a stronger, more inclusive cancer system though the implementation of the Australian Cancer Plan, initiatives like the First Nations Cancer Scholarship are crucial in empowering Indigenous voices and perspectives in cancer control efforts. Together, we can drive innovation, improve outcomes, and ultimately, save lives." 

For more about the Improving First Nations Cancer Outcomes initiative: https://www.canceraustralia.gov.au/key-initiatives/aboriginal-and-torres-strait-islander-people/key-activities-and-opportunities