What does the future look like when we build it together?

Gavin Wanganeen Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Scholarship

"Football has given me some wonderful opportunities, 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 other careers.”


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.

The Gavin Wanganeen Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Scholarship was established in 2005 with the simple goal of supporting disadvantaged Aboriginal Australian students undertaking a university degree, particularly those with a strong desire to succeed and give back to their community. Fifteen years on, 45 students have been awarded the Scholarship thanks to the support of generous donors.

“When I see the impact – Aboriginal students taking hold of their future and achieving their goals – I feel so proud, and I am truly moved by the generosity of people who have backed this project.” - Gavin Wanganeen

Just some of the Gavin Wanganeen
Scholarship success stories

Hannah
Mills

(Law)

The Scholarship meant I could use my time to gain work experience in legal environments.

Hannah Mills

Hannah
Mills

(Law)

Investigator, Wealth Management Enforcement Unit | ASIC

Dannielle
Ghezzi

(Medical Sonography)

I so appreciated the financial support. It gave me security. Without it I could not have studied full time or provided for my daughter.

Dannielle Ghezzi

Dannielle
Ghezzi

(Medical Sonography)

Sonographer
Benson Radiology

Amanda
Lynch

(Social Work & Arts)

The Scholarship provided stability and security during a difficult and isolating time.

Amanda Lynch

Amanda
Lynch

(Social Work & Arts)

Indigenous Student Support Officer
Charles Darwin University

Amanda
Radomi

(Arts)

I do not take this generosity for granted and intend to pay it forward in the future.

Amanda Radomi

Amanda
Radomi

(Arts)

Artist and Tutor
Flinders University

Brooke
Coleman-Oakes

On behalf of everyone who has benefitted from the Scholarship, we are so, so grateful for your support; it makes such a difference.

Brooke Coleman-Oakes

Brooke
Coleman-Oakes

Final year Occupational Therapy student

Charmaine
Cabral

(Nursing & Social Work)

It was hard studying, raising a family, and working part-time. The Scholarship really reduced the burden.

Charmaine Cabral

Charmaine
Cabral

(Nursing & Social Work)

Senior Project Officer, Aboriginal Practice Directorate | Department of Child Protection

Chelsea
Dunn

(Arts & Social Work)

This Scholarship meant a lot to me. It was an acknowledgement of the effort I have put into my studies and it gave me a great sense of achievement.

Chelsea Dunn

Chelsea
Dunn

(Arts & Social Work)

Intervention Officer, Rehabilitation Programs Branch | Department of Correctional Services

Jordan-Leigh
Graeber

Essentially the Scholarship has acted as my safety blanket from life stresses, that I simply haven't had to deal with.

Jordan-Leigh Graeber

Jordan-Leigh
Graeber

Third year Bachelor of
Medical Science student

Kootsy
Canuto

(Arts)

Without the support of the Scholarship I never would have made it.

Kootsy Canuto

Kootsy
Canuto

(Arts)

Postdoctoral
Research Fellow, SAMHRI

Kedeisha
Kartinyeri

(Commerce)

I am the first in my family to attend university and I want to be a role model to my people that they can do it too.

Kedeisha Kartinyeri

Kedeisha
Kartinyeri

(Commerce)

Cadet Accountant |
Lee Green Strategic Accountants

Kiah
Buckskin-James

(Communication)

I am conscious of the benefits afforded me due to the hard work of Aboriginal forebearers and the financial support the Scholarship provided me.

Kiah Buckskin-James

Kiah
Buckskin-James

(Communication)

Exhibitions Coordinator – Museum Of Discovery (MOD) | University of South Australia

Michael
Yunupingu

(Exercise & Sports Science)

Education is the most powerful tool for breaking down barriers, and the only way we can adapt with the rest of Australia whilst maintaining our strong culture.

Michael Yunupingu

Michael
Yunupingu

(Exercise & Sports Science)

Project Officer
Ngarrariyal Aboriginal Corporation

Nathan
Agius

(Education & Arts)

I consider myself to be a role model, giving young Aboriginal people something to aspire to.

Nathan Agius

Nathan
Agius

(Education & Arts)

Teacher
Taminmin College

Olivia
Brownsey

(Law)

Sadly, not all young people have the same opportunities as I have. It is so important to increase the number of Aboriginal people pursuing higher education.

Olivia Brownsey

Olivia
Brownsey

(Law)

Legal Practitioner
Legal Services Commission of South Australia

Aunty
Pat Waria-Read

(Education)

I am a believer in education. I tell my story to younger generations and they are amazed to meet a grandmother who completed a degree. It is a real inspiration for them.

Aunty Pat Waria-Read

Aunty
Pat Waria-Read

(Education)

Retired

Rachael
Anderson

(Education)

Receiving this Scholarship gave me the gift of empowerment.

Rachael Anderson

Rachael
Anderson

(Education)

Aboriginal Community Education Officer
Memorial Oval Primary School

Racquel
Austin-Abdullah

(Visual Arts)

The Scholarship gave me confidence to approach learning.

Racquel Austin-Abdullah

Racquel
Austin-Abdullah

(Visual Arts)

Aboriginal Community Education Officer
Department of Education

Samara
Fernandez

(Psychological Science)

I chose this degree because mental health in Indigenous people is a very real issue; Aboriginal people have some of the highest suicide rates in the world.

Samara Fernandez

Samara
Fernandez

(Psychological Science)

Student Support Officer, Karnkanthi program
University of Adelaide

Montana
Doudle

Moving away from my hometown was unexplainably hard and I am very grateful to have had the financial support the Scholarship provided.

Montana Doudle

Montana
Doudle

Third Year Physiotherapy student

Nikita
Charlton

(Social Work)

As a single mother of three who had previously only completed one year of high school, the Scholarship helped support my family during my study.

Nikita Charlton

Nikita
Charlton

(Social Work)

Social Worker
Mission Australia

Thomas
Farren

(Engineering)

The opportunity motivated me to do my absolute best. Just knowing that support was always there helped me.

Thomas Farren

Thomas
Farren

(Engineering)

Field Engineer
SANTOS

Alysha
Menzel

(Engineering)

My academic performance improved with each passing semester. I learnt to study more efficiently and my determination to excel grew.

Alysha Menzel

Alysha
Menzel

(Design)

Visual Communication
NATION Creative

Caitlyn
Mills

(Information Technology)

The Scholarship definitely helped financially – no question. But mentally, it was a game changer. There were donors backing me and that gave me the incentive to do my best.

Caitlyn Mills

Caitlyn
Mills

(Information Technology)

Application Development Associate
Accenture

Iman
Westhead

If it wasn’t for the support I’ve received, I’d be back in my home town, working part time in fast food or in a supermarket.”

Iman Westhead

Iman
Westhead

First year Environmental Science student

Nicolle
Orr

(Teaching)

I always wanted to be a teacher and give back to our young people.”

Nicolle Orr

Nicolle
Orr

(Teaching)

Teacher | Glossop High School

Every dollar you give supports Aboriginal 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.

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.

100% of your gift will have an impact

When you give a gift to the Gavin Wanganeen Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Scholarship, every dollar goes to empowering our students and changing their lives. The University of South Australia is a deductible gift recipient. All donations to the Gavin Wanganeen Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Scholarship are tax deductible depending on your personal tax circumstances.

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