Supporting students with a desire to succeed and give back to their communities

Gavin Wanganeen Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Scholarship

"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.

Fourteen years and 40 recipients later, plus a further two 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!

A Message from Gavin Wanganeen

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 

Scholarship details

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.

Learn more about applying for the Gavin Wanganeen Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Scholarship

A letter from recipient Olivia Brownsey

Olivia BrownseyRecent Gavin Wanganeen Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Scholarship recipient Olivia Brownsey has a bright future ahead. Whilst studying at uni, she took as many opportunities as she could to further her education, and grow both as a student and as an Aboriginal woman.

“Receiving the GWAS allowed me to be able to study a Bachelor of Laws (Class of 2017) fulltime and represent UniSA at various national and international conferences, and now work as a Legal Officer at the South Australian Native Title Services. It has helped me towards my goal of working in law and using my degree to address Indigenous issues related to the law.

“I will forever be grateful for the opportunities provided through this important scholarship and take pride knowing that others saw my potential.

“Through higher education, my future has endless possibilities that are bright. I have a Law degree, I have represented UniSA at multiple conferences, I am working as a Legal Officer, and above all – I am a proud Aboriginal woman doing what I can to give back to my community.

Sadly, not all young people have the same opportunities as I have. I believe that it is so important to increase the number of Aboriginal people pursuing higher education. Knowledge is powerful and going to university gives graduates pride in themselves and optimism for the future. Crucially, education helps us to help others, which then has a wider benefit for our community. So today I ask you to please donate to the GWAS, and help even more students to succeed and reach their potential.” – Olivia Brownsey

You can do something remarkable

By donating to support GWATSIS, you will give a bright student like Olivia Brownsey the helping hand they need to follow their dreams and become a role model for their community.

Donate to support the Gavin Wanganeen Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander Scholarships

Recipients inspiring local donors

2016 Alumni AwardsGavin 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.

Every dollar you give supports Aboriginal Australian education

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.

Donate to the Gavin Wanganeen Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Scholarship