"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 Scholarship recipient Amanda Radomi received a Gavin Wanganeen Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Scholarship in 2013, allowing her to pursue her talents and turn her life around.
“When I received the Scholarship, I was a single mum with a young child living on a really low income. The $2500 I received each semester, made possible by generous Australians, meant that I could study on weekdays, it allowed me to buy a computer (something I wouldn’t have been able to afford otherwise) and most importantly I was able to have an ‘emergency fund’ for expenses that pop-up in life.
Having this financial piece of mind meant that I was able to completely focus on my studies and being a parent, and my grades reflected this.
I believe that I am a good example of what can happen when you invest in Aboriginal students. In my first semester I had a GPA of 7 and I continued to receive outstanding grades throughout my degree, which was recognised when I won a university medal.
Since graduating I have gone on to become a successful exhibiting artist, a tutor, a mentor to other Aboriginal students, and I have embarked upon a Master of Aboriginal Studies.
I know how much the financial and emotional support provided through a scholarship truly makes a difference, and I hope that through scholarships more Aboriginal students will be able to experience the life-changing benefits that education provides.” – Amanda Radomi
By donating to support GWATSIS, you will give a bright student like Amanda Radomi 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.