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How long do scholarships run for?

How many scholarships are awarded each year?

Does the scholarship cover all tertiary courses?

How much will I receive?

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 long do scholarships run for?
How long do scholarships run for?

Scholarships run for the remainder of a recipient's course and are therefore generally multi-year.

Recipients undertaking an enabling course who successfully complete that course  may subsequently apply for the scholarship to continue into their bachelor degree.

The Trust will also consider continuing the scholarship into post-grad study for recipients undertaking a bachelor degree, particularly in fields where a Masters degree is required for professional recognition.

How many scholarships are awarded?
How many scholarships are awarded each year?

This will vary from year to year, at the Trust's discretion.  We anticipate that three scholarships will be awarded in 2024.

Since being restructured in 2019, a total of 21 scholarships have been awarded. The recipients come from 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, Criminology, Education, Nursing, Archaeology and Business.

Does the scholarship cover all tertiary courses?
What courses are covered?

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?
How much will I receive?

The maximum possible value of the scholarship is $12,000 per year. How much you will receive in any semester depends on how many units you study that semester, as well as the cost and 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. This is 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. For example if your EFTSL is 0.375 (75% of the full-time load) for a semester you will receive payments at a reduced rate of 75% for that semester.

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 $12,000 per year

  • Student housing (independent living) and other rental accommodation: 75% of the cost to a maximum of $12,000 per year


The scholarship is for the cost of fair and reasonable accommodation.  Apart from university colleges, 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 (or two bedrooms, if your tenancy agreement limits occupancy to one person). 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.

Will the scholarship affect my Abstudy?

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

If you have opted for Abstudy Residential Costs Option, this scholarship won't benefit you because your accommodation costs are already fully covered by Abstudy.

How are scholarship recipients selected?
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.


In recognition of the enormous potential of educated empowered Aboriginal people to contribute to the autonomy and well-being of the wider Aboriginal community,  we also highly regard a demonstrated commitment to your community.

What is expected of scholarship recipients?

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 hapens if I fail a unit?
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 may 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 another scholarship?
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
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 current and past recipients represent all five universities across Perth.  They have been selected at various stages of their course, from first to last year. Their fields of study have so far included a University Enabling course, Medicine, Architecture, Psychology, Criminology, Dental Hygiene 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 tertiary 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?
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



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