The Capstone Editing Scholarship for Indigenous High School Students provides $1,000 of funding to one South Australian Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander in Year 11 or Year 12 per year to assist them to complete their secondary schooling and enter university. These funds can be used in any way that will assist the individual student in their education, such as for tutoring, textbooks, computer equipment, school uniforms or travel to and from school.
Sadly, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students remain vastly underrepresented in tertiary education in Australia. According to Universities Australia, Indigenous people comprise 2.7% of Australia’s working age population, yet they make up only 1.6% of university student enrolments. A decade ago, this statistic was 1.2%. This means not enough has been done to rectify this situation.
In March 2017, Universities Australia launched an ambitious new plan to increase Indigenous participation in tertiary education: ‘In the first national strategy of its kind, universities will seek to grow the number of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students enrolled in university by 50 per cent above the growth rate of non-Indigenous students’. Capstone Editing seeks to make a modest contribution towards this target through our Scholarship for Indigenous High School Students. The scholarship will initially be available in South Australia, the home state of Dr Lines, but will hopefully be expanded to other states in the future.