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New scholarship supports Indigenous women to ‘shoot for the stars’

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An Indigenous Australian female student will be awarded a scholarship to complete postgraduate studies at Curtin University as part of a new agreement supported by Shooting Stars.

Shooting Stars is an education and engagement program that aims to close the gap by working in eight remote and regional schools across Western Australia, using netball and other incentives to promote education, health and wellbeing among Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander girls.

The scholarship, also supported by Lotterywest, will fund the Master or PhD studies of an Indigenous Australian woman. Full education costs associated with the postgraduate qualification, as well as any necessary travel and accommodation expenses.

Shooting Stars Research Manager Dr Rose Whitau said the Masters or PhD candidate would develop their own project which assesses at least one of the four Shooting Stars key outcomes, which includes improving participants’ school attendance and attitude to education, health and wellbeing, empowering Aboriginal women to gain employment or higher education opportunities and embedding the program in its communities.

“To date, our research has been in house, so we’re very excited to get a fresh, external perspective on our program,” Dr Whitau said.

“Shooting Stars is all about empowering Indigenous girls and women and building relationships. Through this scholarship, we will not just be providing an opportunity for one Indigenous woman to further her postgraduate career – she will be working closely with Shooting Stars staff and participants, and will be a role model for them as well.”

Curtin’s Centre for Aboriginal Studies Director Professor Marion Kickett said the University was honoured to be partnering with Shooting Stars to support greater education opportunities for Indigenous women.

“This scholarship will offer an Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander woman who may not have considered postgraduate studies because of financial difficulties the opportunity to further her education,” Professor Kickett said.

“It also aims to ensure that the remote and regional communities that Shooting Stars work with benefit from those postgraduate studies by evaluating the program to ensure it continues to meet the needs of those communities.”

The scholarship recipient, which will be decided through a competitive application process, will be required to advance the Shooting Stars’ key objectives of empowering Aboriginal girls and women through their research.

For more information about the scholarship, visit here.

For more information about Shooting Stars, visit here.

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