Applications are now open for the 2013 Bendi Lango bursary, established by the Australian Psychological Society to support Indigenous postgraduate psychology students in difficult financial circumstances.
Since 2006 the APS has assisted six postgraduate psychology students facing financial hardship, initially with funds raised from the Bendi Lango series of art exhibitions organised by former President Amanda Gordon. In 2011 this initiative was formalised as a fund for tax-deductible donations. These member donations have exceeded $30,000 in both 2011 and 2012, providing strong endorsement for the Indigenous Education and Employment component of the APS Reconciliation Action Plan.
The establishment of the bursary is one response to the need to boost the growth in the numbers of Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander psychologists if we are to approach parity (2.5% of the Australian population and the profession) this century. Over the 20 years to 2007 an average of only 2 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander psychologists were added to the profession per year, but that rate has now begun to accelerate, bringing the current total to approximately 80 registered psychologists.
- Applicants need not be members of the APS but must be able to demonstrate their Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander heritage by confirmation in writing by the Chairperson of an Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander incorporated organisation.
- Applicants must provide evidence of their 'necessitous financial circumstances'. These are defined in the Award as 'circumstances where an applicant’s financial resources are insufficient to obtain all that is necessary for a modest standard of living, which is a standard of living greater than bare existence'.
- Applicants must also be able to provide proof of acceptance or enrolment into an APAC-accredited postgraduate coursework degree in 2013.
In order to be considered, the completed application shall include:
- A letter from Chairperson of the Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander Incorporated organisation in the community in which the applicant lives or has previously lived, confirming the applicant’s Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander Heritage. (Other proof of heritage may be considered at the discretion of the Committee)
- A personal statement addressing:
- the applicant’s contribution to their community and the broader community to date;
- the applicant’s planned future contribution to their community and the broader community; and
- what the receipt of financial assistance from the Society will mean to the applicant
- A financial statement providing documentary evidence of the applicant’s 'necessitous financial circumstances'
- The applicant’s education details to date, including academic transcript(s)
- Proof of offer and acceptance, or enrolment, into an APAC-accredited postgraduate coursework degree in 2012
- Letters from an academic referee and a community referee
- Applications, including the completed application form, should be no longer than three A4 pages, plus supporting documentation (references, transcripts, proof of heritage and of enrolment).
- Applicants should submit all documentation to the Coordinator, Science and Education by the due date for applications. Electronic applications are acceptable, but one complete and signed hard copy must also be supplied.
- A selection committee will recommend the recipient(s) to the APS Board on the basis of merit, provided that the above eligibility criteria have been met to the committee’s satisfaction.
- The committee will conduct telephone interviews of all applicants who have submitted a properly completed application form with supporting documentation prior to the close of nominations, and who meet the eligibility criteria.
- The selection committee may seek additional information in the form of external assessors’ or referees’ reports, or other independent advice to assist it in choosing the recipient of the bursary.
- Successful applicants will be notified prior to commencing their 2013 course of study.
Value of the bursary
Each bursary of financial assistance is valued at $15,000 per annum during the time that the applicant is in full-time study (or $7500 per part-time year) in either an APAC-accredited Masters coursework degree (MPsych) or professional Doctorate (DPsych or PsychD).
Closing date and application form
Applications for 2013 have now closed.
For further information on the Bendi Lango bursary, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org