Mary MacKillop believed in the power of education to transform lives. In her legacy the Sisters of Saint Joseph have continued to empower individuals and communities by providing access to education. Since 1998 tertiary scholarships for the First Nation Peoples of the lands in which we live have addressed the financial barriers faced by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students and supported them to access and achieve their academic goals.
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This scholarship is subject to the provisions of James Cook University’s Coursework Scholarships, Bursaries and Grants Policy.
Value and payment of the scholarship
The value of the scholarship shall be $5,000 per year for full time students and $2,500 per year for part time students. Payments will be made in 2 equal instalments after census date of Study Period 1 and Study Period 2.
The Mary MacKillop Today First Nations Tertiary Scholarship is open to competition among applicants who:
- Identify as Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander in descent;
- Are enrolled or intend to enrol in an undergraduate degree or diploma at James Cook University Cairns or Townsville Campus;
- Have a significant financial barrier that inhibits their ability to achieve their academic goals.
The Selection Criteria are:
Student circumstances, (weighting 60 points)
- - Remote or rural (10 points)
- - Living with disability (10 points)
- - Sole carer (10 points)
- - Education history challenges (10 points)
- - No additional non-government funding (10 points)
- - No additional scholarships held (10 points)
- - No previous tertiary qualifications (10 points)
- - Student enrolled/intends to enrol in undergraduate degree/diploma (10 points)
Commitment to studies and future (up to 20 points)
- - Student shows strong evidence of clear academic goals and has identified ways to achieve these
- - Reference demonstrates strong evidence of student commitment to their academic goals
- - Reference and student statement demonstrate strong evidence of achievement of a goal in the past.
Financial Barriers (up to 20 points)
- Student has demonstrated a substantial financial barrier that inhibits them from achieving their academic goals.
- Preference given to a student enrolled in an undergraduate degree
- Preference given to a student(s) who is facing hardship
- Preference given to students from a regional or remote location
- Preference given to a student not in receipt of an additional scholarship,
- Preference given to a student enrolled in their first tertiary qualification
Applications must be submitted on the official application form no later than the date set by the Selection Committee for the year in which the award is to be made.
Applicants must submit with the official form, where appropriate:
- A copy of your academic record from any other academic institution, including secondary school; and
- A written statement, no more than 600 words addressing the following:
- Tell us about you and your circumstances. In this section you should discuss: your educational history and any challenges you may have faced, your family situation, where you are based in Queensland and if you need to relocate to attend university, if you have any disabilities that may impact on your studies.
- Tell us why you have chosen the program you have, what your academic goals and career aspirations are.
- Tell us about the financial barriers that inhibit you from achieving your academic goals. In this section you should include any other non-government funding you may be receiving.
- A written reference attesting to your good character and your ability to commit to goals: and
- A 'confirmation of Aboriginality' letter or a Statutory declaration confirming Australian indigenous or Torres strait Islander descent (if not already provided to JCU).
Applications submitted without the relevant documentation will not be considered.
The applicant authorises the Selection Committee to make such enquiries as to the applicant’s good character and suitability to receive the scholarship, which includes authorisation for the Selection Committee to examine the applicant’s academic record, and seek opinions from relevant members of the academic staff of this University or any other academic institution.
The award of the scholarship will be made in the absolute discretion of the Selection Committee, which shall comprise:
Panel Chair: JCU’s Pro Vice Chancellor, Indigenous Education and Strategy (or representative).
All other members will be at the discretion of the PVC Indigenous Education and Strategy and may include:
- Local Traditional Owner (or representative);
- Senior member of Townsville Catholic Education (or representative);
- Relevant Indigenous Centre staff or academics.
The Selection Committee reserves the right:
- Not to award a Scholarship in any year if, in the opinion of the Selection Committee, there is no candidate of sufficient merit to warrant an award;
- To award a Scholarship for a period of one or more years; and
- To extend a Scholarship for the existing recipient.
The Selection committee will be responsible for shortlisting and/or interviewing of candidates.
The Selection Committee will determine all matters relating to the selection of the Scholarship awardee.
- The recipient must maintain a course GPA of 3.5 or above.
- The recipient must be enrolled full-time study (minimum 9 credit points) or part time study (minimum 6 credit points);
- The recipient must agree to engage with MMT in the form of semester reports as well as interviews or testimonials for use in promoting MMT and the scholarship program.
- The recipient must provide a brief report at the end of the previous study period.
- The recipient of the scholarship shall continue to receive the award on condition that in the opinion of the Selection Committee, and on advice from the head of the school in which the recipient is undertaking a course of study, that the recipient maintains a satisfactory level of performance. Where it is determined that the level of academic performance is unsatisfactory the Selection Committee may in its absolute discretion cancel the award or suspend the award for such time as it may determine and/or until academic performance is considered satisfactory. Where an award is cancelled pursuant to the provisions to this clause it may, for the remainder of the term for which the original holder would have been entitled to it, be awarded to another suitable candidate.
Conditions of the Scholarship
- The recipient may defer their study for up to two semesters with an official Leave of Absence approval from JCU. The recipient will not receive funding for the duration of their Leave of Absence.
- Recipients may transfer their degree to another course of study at JCU. Recipients must advise JCU as soon as possible of their intent to change programs. Any changes to course and study duration will be dealt with on an ad hoc basis between JCU and MMT.
- If the holder of the award does not meet the ongoing eligibility requirements they are required to submit a statement of reasons for review by the selection committee and MMT.
- A student may lodge a request for review of decision in accordance with the provisions of the Student Appeals Policy.
Administration of the Scholarship
The scholarship shall be administered by the scholarships office, on behalf of the Selection Committee.
The funds of the scholarship shall be held in an account in the name of the University and shall be administered by the officer of the University charged with administering the scholarship.
Where an award provides some benefit to the recipient from a body external to the University, or an obligation upon a body external to the University, the University, its servants and agents, shall not be liable for that benefit or obligation
Please refer to Glossary of Terms.