New scholarship opportunity for Indigenous public servants

11 December 2018

The Sir Roland Wilson Foundation has launched a new scholarship that aims to develop the skills of Indigenous public servants to become Australia's future policy leaders.

The Pat Turner Scholarship, developed in partnership with Charles Darwin University (CDU) and the Australian Public Service, offers Indigenous public service employees the opportunity to complete full time postgraduate study at ANU or CDU.

This highly competitive program grants scholars leave with full pay from their home agency for the duration of their studies, and offers a complementary suite of development, networking and leadership opportunities.

Held at the National Gallery of Australia, the launch saw six outstanding public servants from around Australia awarded the scholarship by ANU Vice-Chancellor Professor Brian Schmidt AC, and Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet Secretary Dr Martin Parkinson AC PSM.

Professor Schmidt said the University was extremely proud to be involved in the program.

"We know higher education provides the analytical and critical thinking skills required to develop sound public policy to address the nation's greatest challenges," Professor Schmidt said.

"We also know Indigenous Australians are not always afforded the same opportunities to further their education.

"The expected outcome of this program is improved public policy development led by the Pat Turner scholars."

Ms Pat Turner AM is a prominent Indigenous public servant who has actively promoted self-determination and social justice for Aboriginal people throughout her 30-year career. Her esteemed roles have included Deputy Secretary in the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet and CEO of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Commission (ATSIC) at its inception. Today, Ms Turner is the CEO of the National Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisation (NACCHO).

At the event, Ms Turner urged all scholars to make the most of this rare opportunity.

"Excellence in your chosen field of study will equip you for life. Never settle for less. As future leaders you will contribute to our nation building and help improve the lives of others."

"I have worked, by my choice, all my adult working life, to improve the quality of life for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people throughout our country."

"As an Arrernte woman from Alice Springs I am proud to hold my head high and work to get the best outcomes for our people. I will be encouraging all of you to do the same. I look forward to sharing your journeys with you."

Congratulations to the first recipients of The Sir Roland Wilson Foundation Pat Turner Scholarship.

  • Craig Leon, Department of Human Services, Master by Research, ANU
  • Martin Dallen, Department of Agriculture & Water Resources Master by Coursework, ANU
  • PJ Bligh, Department of the Environment & Energy, Master by Coursework, ANU
  • Steve Munns, Department of Human Services, PhD, ANU
  • Anthony Cowley, Department of Social Services, Master by Research, CDU
  • Deborah Katona, Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet, Master by Coursework, CDU