How many scholarships are awarded each year?

Does the scholarship cover all tertiary courses?

Will the scholarship affect my Abstudy?

How are scholarship recipients selected?

What is expected of scholarship recipients?

Can I receive other scholarships at the same time?

What happens if I fail one or more units?

I'd like to know more about the scholarship's history


I have another question that's not answered here

How much will I receive?

How many scholarships are awarded each year?

This will vary from year to year, at the Trust's discretion.  We anticipate that two scholarships will be awarded in 2021.

In 2019, the inaugural year of the newly structured scholarship, five scholarships were awarded. A further four recipients were added in 2020. The recipients come for all five major universities in Perth, from enabling courses, undergraduate degrees and doctorates. There have been a mix of first year students and continuing students, from a diverse range of courses including Social Work, Architecture, Medicine, Psychology and Criminology.

So far, one recipient has completed his studies and seven have continued to study and receive the scholarship during 2020.

Does the scholarship cover all tertiary courses?

No, it only applies to:

  • University enabling/bridging courses

  • A first undergraduate degree

  • A second degree in a field that is only offered at post-graduate level at your university and requires a general undergraduate degree as a prerequisite for entry eg some universities only offer medicine or law courses as a Doctorate

It does not cover:

  • Certificate or Diploma courses (other than enabling/bridging courses)

  • Second or subsequent undergraduate degrees

  • Post-graduate courses (except as noted above)

  • Second or subsequent post-graduate courses

How much will I receive?

The maximum possible value of the scholarship is $10,000 per year. How much you will receive in any semester depends on how many units you study that semester, as well as the type of accommodation you live in.

Full-time and Part-time study

Applicants are generally required to be enrolled in an 'Equivalent Full Time Study Load' (EFTSL) of 1.0 for the year ie the maximum number of units required each semester in order to complete your course in the minimum time allotted by the university/institution .


If you are studying part time, we may still consider your application. If you are successful, your payments will be adjusted at a pro rata rate.

If you drop to part time while receiving the scholarship you will generally continue to receive it but it will be adjusted to a pro rata rate.

Type of accommodation

The type of accommodation you live in will impact how much you receive:

  • University colleges: 100% of the fees to a maximum of $10,000 per year

  • Approved supported accommodation programs: 100% of the fees to a maximum of $10,000 per year

  • Student housing (independent living) and other rental accommodation: 75% of the cost to a maximum of $10,000 per year


The scholarship is for the cost of fair and reasonable accommodation.  Apart from university colleges and supported accommodation programs, reasonable accommodation for a single person is considered to be a one bedroom apartment or one bedroom in student housing or one bedroom in a share house.  


So if you live in a share house, the scholarship is for your share of the rent only.  If you live alone in accommodation with more than one bedroom, we will contribute to the equivalent cost of the first bedroom. If you have dependents, we generally assist with the additional costs of extra bedrooms.

The scholarship will be paid directly to your accommodation provider or landlord. You must have a formal written tenancy agreement or accommodation contract with your accommodation provider.


No, we don’t believe it will. Because the scholarship is paid directly to your accommodation provider, Centrelink doesn't consider it income. However, please confirm this with Centrelink.

However if you have opted for Abstudy Residential Costs Option, you may find that this scholarship won't benefit you. Please contact us to find out more.

Will the scholarship affect my Abstudy?
How are scholarship recipients selected?
How are scholarship recipients selected?

Our primary selection criteria are:

  • Financial need

  • Capacity to complete the selected university course – how suited you are to the course and your ability to apply yourself to achieve your goals.


Recognizing the enormous potential of educated empowered Aboriginal people to contribute to the autonomy and well-being of the wider Aboriginal community,  a demonstrated commitment to your community will also be highly regarded.


The main things we will expect of you are:

  • Maintain good academic progress

  • Comply with your accommodation provider’s tenancy agreement

  • Maintain contact with our Project Officer and inform us of any changes to your circumstances

  • Attend an annual gathering to meet other scholarship recipients and the Trust’s management committee


We will also ask you to provide the evidence of your academic progress and tenancy compliance.


For academic progress you will need to provide:

  • Proof of enrollment at census date of each semester

  • Proof of academic results at the conclusion of each semester

  • Your authorization to liaise directly with a nominated staff member from your university who can confirm your academic progress and continued enrollment each semester


For tenancy compliance:

  • Your authorization for us to liaise directly with your accommodation provider.

What is expected of scholarship recipients?
What happens if I fail one or more units?

Generally, we expect students to make good academic progress but understand that sometimes things don’t go smoothly. We want you to complete the study wherever possible, so if you experience a hiccup, we will work with you to support you through it. Be sure to let us know if you start experiencing difficulties.

  • Generally, you will have one semester to ‘self-correct’ and pass all your units the following semester

  • If you subsequently fail another unit, the scholarship will be reduced pro rata for the semester following the failure. It will be fully reinstated once you pass all your units in a semester.

  • If you fail all your units in a semester, the scholarship may be terminated.

Can I receive other scholarships?

Generally no, but it will depend on your circumstances and the type/value of the other scholarships. It is definitely worth applying in the first instance.

About the scholarship and its history

The scholarship is funded by the Minnie Bairstow Trust, a charitable trust established in 1987 by the late Minnie Bairstow, who saw a need to assist with accommodation for Aboriginal university students.

Since the Trust's inception, it has offered various forms of assistance with accommodation: initially as student accommodation owned by the Trust, then as numerous modest annual financial scholarships.

In 2019, the scholarship moved from multiple small annual scholarships to fewer but more generous, course-long scholarships. The Trust believes this more effectively addresses the major financial burden of housing and ensures a secure home for the duration of a recipient's studies.

The 2019 and 2020 recipients represent all five universities across Perth.  They have been at all stages of their course, from first to last year, when awarded the scholarship. Their fields of study have so far included a University Enabling course, Medicine, Architecture, Psychology, Criminology and Social Work.

The Trust is managed by a voluntary management committee under the umbrella of Baptist Churches Western Australia. Scholarship recipients are selected by an independent selection panel consisting of two Aboriginal members who currently or have previously worked in Aboriginal education, along with a representative of the Trust's management committee. A part-time project officer is employed to manage the application process and day-to-day running of the scholarships.

What if I have more questions?

Our friendly Project Officer, Katrina, is happy to discuss your situation and answer any queries you might have. You can phone or text her on 0467 154 203 or email contact@minniebairstowscholarship.org