NACCHO Aboriginal Health scholarships: Puggy Hunter Memorial Scholarship Scheme close 15 January


Puggy Hunter Memorial Scholarship Scheme

Applications open now; close 15 January 2017

The Puggy Hunter Memorial Scholarship Scheme (PHMSS) is available to Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander people who are studying a course in ATSI health work, allied health, dentistry/oral health, medicine, midwifery or nursing.

It is an Australian Government initiative designed to encourage and assist Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander undergraduate students in health-related disciplines to complete their studies and join the health workforce.

The scheme was established in recognition of Dr Arnold ‘Puggy’ Hunter’s significant contribution to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health and his role as Chair of the National Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisation.

Dr Puggy Hunter – NACCHO Chairperson 1991-2001 BIO

Dr. Arnold “Puggy” Hunter was a pioneer in Australian Aboriginal health and recipient of the 2001 Australian Human Rights Medal.

Puggy was the elected chairperson of the National Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisation, (NACCHO), which is the peak national advisory body on Aboriginal health. NACCHO has a membership of over 150 Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Services and is the representative body of these services. Puggy was the inaugural Chair of NACCHO from 1991 until his death.[1]

Puggy was the vice-chairperson of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Council, the Federal Health Minister’s main advisory body on Aboriginal health established in 1996.

He was also Chair of the National Public Health Partnership Aboriginal and Islander Health Working Group which reports to the Partnership and to the Australian Health Ministers Advisory Council.

He was a member of the Australian Pharmaceutical Advisory Council (APAC), the General Practice Partnership Advisory Council, the Joint Advisory Group on Population Health and the National Health Priority Areas Action Council as well as a number of other key Aboriginal health policy and advisory groups on national issues.[1]

Puggy had a long and passionate role in the struggle for justice for Aboriginal people. He was born in Darwin in 1951, where his parents had fled Broome and Western Australian native welfare policies.[1]

Numerous Australian scholarships are named in his honour.

He was quoted in Australian Parliament as saying: “You white people have the hearing problems because you do not seem to hear us

Application form

Online application form 

Applications are open now; close on 15 January 2017.

Eligibility criteria

Applications will be considered from applicants who are:

  • of Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander descent
    Applicants must identify as and be able to confirm their Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander status.
  • enrolled or intending to enrol in an entry level or graduate entry level health related course.
    Courses must be provided by an Australian registered training organisation or university. Funding is not for postgraduate study.
  • intending to study in the academic year that the scholarship is offered.

ACN receives high volume of applications; meeting the eligibility criteria will not guarantee applicants a scholarship offer.

Eligible health areas

  • Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander health work
  • Allied health (excluding pharmacy)
  • Dentistry/oral health (excluding dental assistants)
  • Direct entry midwifery
  • Medicine
  • Nursing; registered and enrolled

Value of scholarship

Funding is provided for the normal duration of the course. Full time scholarship awardees will receive up to $15,000 per year and part time recipients will receive up to $7,500 per year. The funding is paid in 24 fortnightly instalments throughout the study period of each year.

Selection criteria

These are competitive scholarships and will be awarded on the recommendation of the independent selection committee whose assessment will be based on how applicants address the following questions:

  • Describe what has been your driving influence/motivation in wanting to become a health professional in your chosen area.
  • Discuss what you hope to accomplish as a health professional in the next 5-10 years.
  • Discuss your commitment to study in your chosen course.
  • Outline your involvement in community activities, including promoting the health and well-being of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.

The Puggy Hunter Memorial Scholarship scheme is funded by the Australian Government Department of Health and administered by the Australian College of Nursing.

Important links

Links to Indigenous health professional associations

Contact ACN

t 1800 688 628


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