$50 million endowment for Indigenous university scholarships

The Australian National University (ANU) has today launched a new scholarship program and endowment to unlock university and personal opportunities for Indigenous Australians. 

The Kambri Scholarships will provide major financial support as well as a tailored student experience that sets students up for academic, professional and personal success. 

ANU will provide $25 million in matching funds to help establish a $50 million endowment to fund the scholarships in perpetuity. 

Vice-Chancellor Professor Brian Schmidt said "the University will match donations to the endowment dollar for dollar". 

"As Vice-Chancellor of the national university, my hope is that never again will Indigenous students miss out on the ANU experience," Professor Schmidt said. 

"As the national university, it is both a responsibility and a privilege to contribute to the advancement of Australia's First peoples; through education, research and providing a platform for meaningful debate that shapes the national conversation. 

"But if Australia is to trust its national university, we must do everything we can to resemble the country we seek to serve. 

"Talent exists in every community, in every ethnic group, at every age, and is not symbolised by physical abilities or conventions. 

"That is why I am so proud and delighted to announce the creation of a new sector-leading scholarship scheme - the Kambri Scholarships. 

"These scholarships will provide any Indigenous student who is admitted to ANU, the financial, academic and pastoral support they need to thrive in our community. 

"We've made this major commitment - it's important for us, it's important for the nation. Now we are looking for partners, big and small, across the community, to help us turn this vision into reality." 

The endowment will fund at least 30 scholarships per year worth up to $30,000 annually. 

As 'Kambri Scholars' scholarship recipients will benefit from a financial, academic and pastoral program developed by the ANU Tjabal Indigenous Higher Education Centre; receive individualised support, mentoring and leadership training; and participate in specialised activities, funded by the University. 

Ms Anne Martin, Director of the Tjabal Centre, has been instrumental in the formation of the scholarship program. 

"Student success is not just about financial support, it is about the entire student experience," Ms Martin said. 

"That's why the Kambri Scholarships program offers a holistic approach by providing financial, academic and pastoral assistance across the learning lifecycle-from undergraduate and postgraduate studies, to employment opportunities.

"Our vision is for ANU to attract a diverse cohort of academically talented Indigenous students and to support those students in the culturally appropriate ways they need. 

"The program gives Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students from across the country the opportunity to come to ANU, focus on their studies and go on to fulfilling careers. 

"We hope the ANU experience will support the long-term success, autonomy and self-determination of Indigenous students." 

The ANU Council has committed to create an endowment of at least $50 million dollars, with the University matching philanthropic gifts dollar for dollar, until that goal is reached. 

The University has provided several million dollars of seed funding to ensure the program can start this year, with scholarships for incoming Indigenous Australians in 2020. The investment returns will fund the program in perpetuity. 

If you would like to give, please visit https://www.anu.edu.au/giving/kambri-scholars  

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Updated:  17 February 2020/Responsible Officer:  Science Web/Page Contact:  Science Web