New journalism scholarship for Indigenous students

8 February 2019

A $5000 scholarship to empower the next generation of aspiring Indigenous Australian Journalists has been created at The University of Queensland.

The Journalism Scholarship for Indigenous Engagement in UQ’s School of Communication and Arts enables Indigenous Australian students to overcome traditional barriers on their way to becoming journalists.

UQ Lecturer of Journalism Bruce Woolley established the scholarship to support a student’s full potential; bringing value to classrooms, communities, and the institution of journalism.

“We’re encouraging Indigenous students to become working journalists and challenge the people who run our democracy,” Mr Woolley said.

Storytelling is something that Indigenous communities have been doing for thousands of years, and tapping into that ancient skill ensures their stories are told in an engaging way.

Mr Woolley said journalists with personal connections to remote communities have unique access to information and perspectives that bridge cultural divides.

“These journalists bring a much-needed voice to the national conversation and ensure Australia – and the world – gets the whole story.

“They would be able to tell stories about what their life is really like, and how they would like things to change and improve,” he said.

The scholarship will be awarded to a commencing first-year, full-time undergraduate that shows: academic achievement; active engagement and participation in Indigenous communities and organisations, supporting Indigenous groups and causes; and has career goals in journalism or related fields.

The selection committee will give preference to applicants who are from regional or remote areas. Bachelor of Journalism (BJ), Bachelor of Journalism (Honours) (BJHons), Bachelor of Arts (BA) or BA and BJ dual students are invited to apply.  

“The scholarship will be a source of encouragement, shaping students’ tertiary success as well as their careers,” Mr Woolley said.

Scholarship holders will be nurtured from their first year of university through to full-time employment after graduation.

“Our promise is to follow recipients each step of the way and provide them with the opportunities to excel,” Mr Woolley said.

Working, Indigenous journalists will be offered as mentors to scholarship recipients.

These mentors will help students get through their program and assist after graduation with employment.

“We will show them that it's possible to do well in an academic environment and hope to inspire people in their communities who didn’t think it was possible before,” Mr Woolley said.

“It would be wonderful to see a scholarship winner go on to be a foreign correspondent for a major newspaper or broadcaster.”

Mr Woolley will retire from UQ this year after a 40-year career in the field of international journalism, broadcasting and academia.

If you wish to help unlock the potential for the next generation of Indigenous Australian journalists, you can make a gift today to the Journalism Scholarship for Indigenous Engagement.