I think for a lot of non-Indigenous students, university is the only option. In my research and in my professional experience working with Indigenous young people that's not the case. There is just this expectation that actually Indigenous students won't continue on to university. Becoming a Scholar means that you have access to this amazing group of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people who are thinking about the world in the same way as you.
Lily Brown
MPhil in Politics, Development and Democratic Education Trinity College, Cambridge, 2012 Charlie Perkins Scholar, 2021 Chevening Scholar, 2011 Aurora Study Tour
The biggest, and most valuable, experience was living in a space where my Aboriginality wasn't politicised or capable of being weaponised. This was both liberating, but also unsettling and took some getting used to. One of the first vivid experiences that had an impact on me was filling out my GP registration form in college in my first week: there wasn't an 'Aboriginal' box so I had to sit and list a number of the conditions prevalent in my family. It was an interesting experience having to translate meanings that are otherwise bundled an expressed back home in political/medical shorthand. The broader experience has fundamentally changed and improved my ability to communicate about issues, race, identity and community in a much more effective and politically apolitical way.
Kristopher Wilson
DPhil in Cyber Security Jesus College, Oxford 2015 Charlie Perkins Scholar, 2015 Chevening Scholar

Roberta Sykes Scholarships

The Roberta Sykes Scholarship supports Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students to undertake postgraduate study abroad. This support includes Scholarships to study full time postgraduate programs at recognised overseas universities and Executive Scholarships to study Short Executive Programs at leading overseas academic institutions. Roberta Sykes Scholars must embody academic excellence, demonstrate a commitment to Indigenous communities, and reflect the strong community and activist roots of the foundation that Roberta herself set up in the 1970s.

Charlie Perkins Scholarship Trust

The Charlie Perkins Trust partners with Aurora to deliver the Charlie Perkins Scholarships for study at the University of Oxford and the University of Cambridge.

The Scholarships were launched in 2009 in the memory of leader and activist Dr Charlie Perkins – the first Aboriginal man in Australia to graduate from university. In 2009, with the assistance of the University of Oxford, the Charlie Perkins Trust established the annual Charlie Perkins Scholarships to support two Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander persons to undertake postgraduate study at the University of Oxford from 2010. In 2011, with support from the Cambridge Commonwealth, European and International Trust, the Scholarships also became available for study at the University of Cambridge.

These postgraduate Scholarships are directed towards Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students who have the potential to become leaders in their field of study and in their communities. The value of each Charlie Perkins Scholarship will vary, depending on the scholarship-holder’s course of study. It will cover for up to three years’ full university and college fees, travel costs and an annual stipend to cover living expenses.

Scholarship opportunities

Looking for other scholarship opportunities? Visit the Indigenous Pathways Portal for more listings.