"Please help support this scholarship and give someone with real potential that little extra support they need to achieve their academic goals" - Gavin Wanganeen
The Gavin Wanganeen Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Scholarship (GWATSIS) was established in 2005 with the simple goal of supporting disadvantaged Aboriginal Australian students to complete a university degree, particularly those with a strong desire to succeed and give back to their community.
The idea behind this goal was more ambitious - the belief that supporting the development of more Aboriginal Australian role models may help tip the balance of inequality between Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal Australians.
Twelve years and 35 recipients later, plus a further three scholarships sponsored by corporate donors, we believe the Gavin Wanganeen Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Scholarships are 'kicking' both of these goals...
The Gavin Wanganeen Scholarships are directly changing the lives of individuals who, in turn, are inspiring others to change their lives. Many of our scholarship graduates are now working in areas of Aboriginal Australian health, education and social work while others are making their mark in the field of arts and media. The transformative power of education is in action, thanks to the generosity of our many donors!
Brownlow Medallist, premiership player, five-time All-Australian, Port Power best and fairest and first Aboriginal Australian AFL Life Member, Gavin Wanganeen was a brilliant AFL player who is genuinely admired by all who love the game.
More than that, Gavin has become a role model for Aboriginal youth, something he takes very seriously. That is why he lent his patronage and encouragement to a scholarship set up by the University of South Australia to help Aboriginal Australian students achieve their higher education goals.
"Football has given me some wonderful opportunities in my life, a strong sense of achievement and an understanding that role models can make a difference to people's lives. I believe Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander kids need a range of role models – some in sport but also, teachers, business leaders, nurses, researchers and other careers.
The Gavin Wanganeen Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Scholarships aim to assist more Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students attend university so they can contribute by becoming leaders in Australia and good examples for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children across the country" - Gavin Wanganeen
The Gavin Wanganeen Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Scholarships are open to Aboriginal students who are enrolled in any undergraduate program at the University of South Australia. Recipients are chosen from candidates who are financially or educationally disadvantaged, who can show that they have the will to succeed and who actively participate in community activity.
Recent GWATSIS recipient Michael James Bakamana Gadingura Yunupingu was awarded the scholarship for his drive and dedication to complete a Bachelor of Human Movement at UniSA and become a role model for his community.
“I am a Gumatj man of the Yolngu nation of North East Arnhem Land. My malk (or skin name) is Gudjuk, and my totems are Baru (Crocodile) and Gurtha (Fire). My Aboriginal identity is very important to me.
When I got the news that I had been chosen to receive a scholarship in Gavin Wanganeen’s name, my family was really happy and also relieved because of the extra funding it provided for my studies. I felt honoured and blessed to be given your support but it didn’t really hit me until I was handed the scholarship by Gavin Wanganeen himself!
I am the first person in my Northern Territory family to get straight into an undergraduate degree at university which makes me feel very proud. Since coming to university, I have also become a role model for my community and this has given my elders a huge feeling of hope for our future.
I want you to know how important your support is for myself and other students at UniSA. There are many young people in Aboriginal communities who are yearning for opportunities to study but who, because of factors in their lives, find it too hard to consider. Knowing that there are scholarships like GWAS can be the reassurance others need to take that first step towards university.” - Michael Yunupingu
By donating to support GWATSIS, you will give a bright student like Michael Yunupingu the helping hand they need to follow their dreams and become a role model for their community.
Gavin Wanganeen’s patronage of these scholarships has inspired many local business leaders and donors to support Aboriginal Australian students complete their degrees at UniSA.
The Department of Environment, Water and Natural Resources now support bright young Aboriginal students studying in a variety of areas including aboriginal studies, business, environmental studies and engineering through a GWATSIS.
This opportunity also gives the recipient a unique opportunity to receive mentoring from the Department in order to build their network within their intended career industry.
Likewise, the Department of State Development has also supported an annual Gavin Wanganeen scholarship. Recent recipient Nikita Charlton is pursuing a career in social work, inspired by her family’s commitment to their Tharawal community.
“I am hoping that by completing this degree I will gain knowledge and lifelong skills to work in rural and remote communities around Australia. I would like to help promote equality and encourage young Australians to access services required to assist them to break down barriers to their education and gain a better quality of life.” - Nikita Charlton
By donating to the Gavin Wanganeen Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Scholarship or talking to us about establishing your own student award or scholarship you can help inspire future generations of Aboriginal Australians achieve their ambition of a university degree.
100% of your gift will go directly to support the Gavin Wanganeen Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Scholarship – there are no administration fees, no overheads and no hidden costs.
This way you can ensure that your money is put to work immediately giving extra support to students with real potential.