Study Tour FAQs

Why do I need a Distinction average to apply for the Study Tour?

The reason we look at a Distinction average for Study Tour scholars is that the universities we visit usually require these grades for successful applications.  To date, 94% of those who have ended up applying for postgraduate study at these universities have been accepted.  If your marks are a little under a Distinction average, you are welcome to apply; the success of your application will depend on the strength of the rest of the applicants. 

What reference documents are required for the Study Tour and what information should it cover?

Applicants require three written references, including two academic references and a personal reference. Referees should forward references directly to the Scholarships team at scholarships@aurorafoundation.com.au.  References should outline and address the below: 

  • Referee’s relationship with the candidate 
  • Referee’s academic and/or professional position in relation to the candidate 
  • Academic ability and capabilities of the candidate 
  • Personal qualities and characteristics of the candidate 
  • The candidate’s leadership potential in their field of study and/or Indigenous community 
  • If applicable, the candidate’s contribution to the Indigenous community 
  • Timeliness of this opportunity in the candidate’s academic and career development 

What do we mean when we ask for Proof of Aboriginality and a Confirmation of Aboriginality?

Aboriginality as defined in the NSW Aboriginal Land Rights Act 1983 is determined in accordance with three main requirements.  

An applicant must:  

  1. Be of Aboriginal descent  
  2. Identify as an Aboriginal person and  
  3. Be accepted by the Aboriginal community in which he or she lives or has lived. 

We will need confirmation of Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander descent through a signed statement (including common seal) from the Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander Heritage Association, Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander Corporation or Land Council of the country of your ancestors.  You can also provide proof by descent if your parents or their siblings hold such a confirmation, and you can provide birth certificates tracing the relationships back to you.   

What is the selection process for the Study Tour?

Applications will be reviewed by the Scholarships team and Aurora’s Deputy CEO.  Those shortlisted will be interviewed via videoconference. 

The successful applicants will be chosen primarily on the basis of academic achievement (First Class or high Second Class Honours, or a Distinction average in their studies) but also on the basis of their potential to become leaders in their field of study and in their communities. 

Preference will be given to students in the final year of their studies.  Students currently undertaking a PhD in Australia, who hope to complete some of their program or a postdoc overseas, will also be considered; however, priority will be given to those seeking to complete a full-time degree overseas. We are looking for applicants who have the potential to become Charlie Perkins and Roberta Sykes Scholars. 

Contacting academics and administrators at overseas universities

The difference between academic and administrative contacts: 

  • Academic contacts are members of departments, schools and faculties who conduct research, teach classes, etc, relevant to your study interests.  Meeting with these contacts should help you define exactly what, or explore the possibilities of what you want to study from an academic perspective.  These meetings can help you identify potential supervisors and the most suitable courses or research programs 
  • Administrative contacts are generally university personnel who work in student services (e.g. Graduate Admissions, Student Support, Financial Aid, International Student Support), or alternatively are academics who hold an administrative role such as the chair of a department or coordinator of a postgraduate program that you are interested in learning more about.  Meeting these contacts should help you clarify what is required to study at each university in a particular program, and what kind of facilities and support may be available to you.  Contact details of administrative contacts are often found listed under the ‘staff’ section of a Department’s website (as opposed to ‘Faculty’, which is where you would find academics listed), or in the student services section of a university’s website. 

LEWW Scholarship FAQs

What are the key application dates?

Applications Open:   annually in November 

Applications Close:  annually in February 

Interviews:                TBA 

Applicants Notified:  annually in March 

How do I apply?

Information and applications are available via:  

Indigenous Scholarships Portal 

What is the aim of this scholarship program?

The Lorna Earl and William Woodberry (LEWW) Scholarship Program was established to encourage Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students to further their education and to contribute to the development of Indigenous peoples’ education. The LEWW Scholarships provides the opportunity for Indigenous students experiencing financial difficulties to study on site at universities in New South Wales.  

Five Scholarships valued at up to $15,000 per annum, will be offered in 2021 (and will run the course of the individual’s degree). 

What is the scholarship awarded for?

The Scholarship is awarded to individuals (“Scholars”) as a contribution towards the cost of undertaking tertiary study at NSW universities and may be used for a range of purposes including (but not limited to): 

  • University fees / Payment of HECS 
  • Text books and other essential study related equipment 
  • Computer hardware, software and internet 
  • Residential school expenses (travel/accommodation) 
  • Realistic but modest living expenses 
  • Other academic and study related resources. 

What eligibility criteria apply to the scholarship?

  • Be of Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander descent.  
  • Identify as Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander. 
  • Be accepted as such by the community in which they live or have lived.  
  • Applicants must provide written confirmation of their Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander heritage.  
  • Students must be 16 years or older at the time they commence their studies. 
  • Have written confirmation of enrolment in an undergraduate degree at a NSW University. 
  • You must have successfully completed your first year of full time equivalent undergraduate study and be commencing your second year of full time equivalent undergraduate study on site at a NSW university (unless COVID-19 has meant you now have to do some of the program online). 
  • Applicants must be able to demonstrate financial hardship or need.  

Establishing Aboriginal and or Torres Strait Islander status

To be eligible for this Scholarship it is necessary to confirm an individual’s status as an Aboriginal and or Torres Strait Islander. Details relating to acceptable evidence is outlined below.   

  • A person may confirm Aboriginal and or Torres Strait Islander identity through:  
  1. a letter stamped with the common seal and signed by the chairperson of an Aboriginal and or Torres Strait Islander Land Council, in whose area the person lives or has previously lived; or  
  2. a letter stamped with the common seal and signed by a delegate of an incorporated Aboriginal and or Torres Strait Islander organisation, such as the Aboriginal Medical Service or an Aboriginal Legal Service.
     
  • Where records are not available, a person’s Aboriginal and or Torres Strait Islander identity may be confirmed by a statutory declaration from the individual, declaring that they:  
  1. are of Aboriginal and or Torres Strait Islander descent; and 
  2. identify as an Aboriginal and or Torres Strait Islander; and  
  3. are accepted as such by the community in which they live, or previously lived. 
     
  • The individual is responsible for confirming their own Aboriginal and or Torres Strait Islander identity.  

To apply you will need to submit

  1. A personal statement outlining your current circumstances, career aspirations and how this scholarship will support your studies and help you achieve these goals (500 word limit). This statement should give a sufficient explanation of the applicant’s background and current circumstances to enable the Scholarship provider to judge their eligibility, need and merit. 
  2. Written enrolment confirmation from the relevant tertiary institution  
  3. Current Curriculum Vitae (CV) 
  4. A high resolution corporate headshot in jpeg format 
  5. An official transcript of your university results from the first year of your undergraduate program 
  6. A detailed budget for your academic commitments on a template provided which includes all sources of income (for eg. Abstudy, funding from other scholarships, income from your employment etc) and list all your expenses, including estimates or expected expenses.  
  7. Confirmation of Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander descent through a signed statement from the Aboriginal Heritage Association, Aboriginal Corporation or Land Council of the country of your ancestors 
  8. Two references:    
  • your academic/professional reference should highlight your capabilities and the perceived future benefit of doing your chosen course.  
  • your other reference should be from an Elder or a member in your community and should highlight your connection to the community. 

Can I apply for a LEWW Indigenous Scholarship if I’m already receiving other educational support?

Receipt of educational funding support from another organisation or sponsor (i.e. a “Third-Party Sponsor”) does not prevent a person applying for a Lorna Earl & William Woodberry Scholarship. However: 

  • Applicants who are already receiving, or will receive, educational funding support for their current/proposed course from a Third-Party Sponsor must declare that funding as part of their scholarship application.  
  • The nature and amount of any Third-Party Sponsorship will be taken into consideration in assessing a person’s application for a LEWW Scholarship. 

What universities can I be studying at?

Studies must be undertaken at NSW universities at campuses located in NSW.  Eligible NSW universities are: 

  • Australian Catholic University 
  • CQUniversity (Sydney Campus only) 
  • Macquarie University 
  • Southern Cross University 
  • The University of Sydney 
  • University of Newcastle 
  • University of New England 
  • University of New South Wales Sydney 
  • University of Technology Sydney 
  • University of Wollongong 
  • Western Sydney University 

How will my application be assessed?

Applications will be assessed by a Scholarship Selection Panel. Panel members include representatives from Aurora Education Foundation and Good2Give. 

All scholarship applications will be assessed on the merits of their written application and references. The Scholarship Selection Panel will conduct interviews with shortlisted applicants as part of the application assessment process. The determination of successful applicants by the Scholarship Selection Panel will be final.  

When will I know the outcome of my application?

All applicants will be notified by a phone call and email by 2 March 2021 regarding the outcome of their application. 

What is the value of the scholarship?

Successful applicants studying full-time will receive a maximum of $15,000 per annum paid in semester or trimester instalments each year, subject to: 

  • Receipt of written enrolment confirmation from the relevant tertiary institution each semester (based on a two-semester or trimester course). 
  • Successful completion of all subjects undertaken during the relevant year. 

 The scholarships are intended to run for the duration, or remainder, of the Scholar’s nominated course only, subject to acceptable academic progress (see below).  

What documents am I required to submit after every semester?

As a condition of receiving a scholarship, Scholars are required to submit the following documentation to their Scholarship Provider at the end of each academic period (every semester): 

 

  •  a 300-word report – explaining how the scholarship has assisted them to study at their nominated tertiary institution. That report should also outline what the Scholar has achieved in their course, and how their learnings relate to their future involvement and potential impact on their own communities. 
  • Proof of continuing enrolment 
  • a certified copy of an official academic transcript – that demonstrates successful completion of the Scholar’s study at their chosen tertiary institution. The transcript must match the Scholar’s approved course. 
  • a record of expenses  to show how the scholarship funds have been spent.

What if I want to withdraw from my course?

If a Scholar is thinking about withdrawing from their course for any reason, they must contact the Scholarships Manager at Aurora via email on scholarships@aurorafoundation.com.au or by phone (02) 9310 8400 (who will inform Good2Give) as soon as possible and before any action to withdraw is taken.  

 This will allow the Scholarship Provider to understand the circumstances surrounding the potential withdrawal, whether other support or options are available to allow the Scholar to continue studying and ultimately, whether the Sponsorship Provider consents to a withdrawal and how scholarship payments are to be treated. 

Any final decision to withdraw from a course will require the written consent of the Scholarship Provider. 

If a Scholar withdraws from their course without their Scholarship Provider’s prior written consent: 

  • The Scholar will be required to fully refund any scholarship payment made by their Scholarship Provider in anticipation of completing the current or upcoming semester 
  • The Scholar’s scholarship will be automatically terminated. 

What if I want to change my course or vary my enrolment?

The Scholar cannot change their course (or major) or vary their enrolment in any way (e.g. defer or move from full-time to part-time study load) and continue the scholarship unless they have the prior written permission of their Scholarship Provider. 

What if I don’t pass a course subject?

Acceptable academic progress in a course is defined as achievement of a minimum “Pass” result in each subject studied in a semester, with no failures. 

If there is a subject failure, this must be reported to an Aurora Scholarships Manager, at the time of the result being released by the university. 

 The Scholarship Provider reserves the right to: 

  • Reach a decision determining whether termination of the scholarship should apply. 
  • Scholars may be required to provide information or evidence as to why 

their scholarship should not be terminated, explaining reasons/ personal circumstances for failing the subject.  

  • If a scholarship is terminated for any reason, the Scholarship Provider will not be required to make any further scholarship payments to the Scholar. 

Can I transfer my scholarship to another person?

The Scholarship cannot be transferred to another person by the Scholar. 

Are there any Tax implications from receiving Scholarship payments?

Scholarship payments will contribute to recipients’ taxable income and may also impact entitlement to Commonwealth benefits such as ABSTUDY. 

Scholarship applicants and/or recipients are encouraged to contact Centrelink, the Australian Taxation Office (“ATO”) and/or their taxation agent to obtain advice about the implications of the scholarship payments on their current earnings and benefits. 

Information about taxation on scholarships is also available from the ATO website at: 

https://www.ato.gov.au/Calculators-and-tools/Is-my-scholarship-taxable/ 

What may I be asked to do to promote the scholarship?

Scholars may be asked by their Scholarship Provider for the following help to promote the 

Scholarships: 

  • participation in media and marketing activity to assist with sharing their story.  
  • being open to responding to invitations from their Scholarship Provider to attend or speak at an event or function with staff or other stakeholders.

Further information

The LEWW Scholarship Fund is a sub-fund of the Good2Give Community Fund.   

The LEWW Scholarships are administered and delivered by Aurora Education Foundation. 

For further details on the Lorna Earl and William Woodberry LEWW Scholarship, please contact: 

Contact name:  Aurora Scholarships Team, Sharon Kumar & Tyrrel Freeman-Mafi 

Email:  scholarships@aurorafoundation.com.au 

Phone:  02 9310 8402  

Who is Good2Give?

Good2Give works with businesses, individuals, families and charities developing effective charitable giving strategies and managing donor funds, helping to transform lives and communities around the world.  

Good2Give are the Trustees of The Lorna Earl and William Woodberry Scholarship Fund.  

Good2Give Community Fund adheres to the Good2Give Privacy Policy found here. 

Aurora Education Foundation* (Aurora) also has Privacy Policies in place to protect information which is collected through the Indigenous Scholarships Portal (the Portal). This Policy explains how Aurora manages information and why we collect it. Aurora takes the security of your information seriously and has various measures in place to keep it safe.