The Bendi Lango bursary was established by the Australian Psychological Society to support postgraduate psychology students of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander descent.


Since 2006 the APS has assisted ten postgraduate psychology students demonstrating financial need, 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 totalled approximately $170,000 since 2011, 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 (3% of the Australian population and the profession) this century. There are an estimated 80 to 140 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander psychologists (Australian Census 2011 & Health Workforce Survey 2013). This is less than one percent of the profession and much work remains to be done.


  • 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 financial need (necessitous financial circumstances).
  • Applicants must also provide proof of acceptance or enrolment into an APAC-accredited postgraduate coursework degree in 2017.

Value of the bursary

Each bursary of financial assistance is valued at $15,000 per annum for up to two years of full-time study, or $7,500 per annum for up to four years of part-time study, in an APAC-accredited masters coursework degree or professional doctorate.
In addition, the recipient(s) will receive:

  • Complimentary APS Student membership for the period of the financial assistance provided
  • Complimentary APS membership for the first year post-graduation
  • An invitation to present at the next available APS Congress following graduation or, in years when no Congress will be held, at another high profile event. If this invitation is accepted, the recipient(s) receives complimentary Congress/event registration.


Nomination process

  • Applicants must submit all documentation electronically via email to the Administrator, Science and Education,, by the due date. In order to be considered, the completed application must include:
  • A letter from the 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 selection 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
    • what the receipt of financial assistance from the Society will mean to the applicant
  • A financial statement providing documentary evidence of the applicant’s financial need
  • 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 2017
  • Completed academic referee report and a community referee report (see referee report forms below)
  • Applications, including the completed application form, should be no longer than six A4 pages, plus supporting documentation (references, transcripts, proof of heritage, and of enrolment).

Selection process

  • A selection committee reviews all applications and may conduct telephone interviews with applicants who met the eligibility criteria and submitted a properly completed application form, and all necessary supporting documentation, prior to the close of nominations.
  • The selection committee may seek additional information, in the form of external assessor or referee reports, or other independent advice to assist in selecting the bursary recipient(s).
  • The selection committee will recommend the recipient(s) to the APS Board based on merit, providing the above eligibility criteria have been met to the committee’s satisfaction.

Award presentation

  • The recipient(s) will be formally notified in writing before any public announcement is made.
  • A profile of the recipient(s) will be published on the APS website and in the Society’s bimonthly bulletin, InPsych, in June of the year the bursary is awarded.

Closing date and application form

Applications for 2018 are now open. Applications will close on Friday 30 March 2018.

2018 Bendi Lango bursary - Call for applications
2018 Bendi Lango bursary - Application Form
2018 Bendi Lango bursary - Community Referee Report
2018 Bendi Lango bursary - Academic Referee Report

For further information on the Bendi Lango bursary, please contact