We all know how hard studying can be. Whether you’re at primary school, high school, university or TAFE, finding the time to prepare for exams and complete all your assignments while maintaining other commitments – such as looking after your siblings or having a part-time job – can be a real balancing act. The last thing you need to worry about is where the next $20 is coming from!
ABSTUDY, the Aboriginal Study Grants Scheme, is designed to encourage more Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people to complete non-compulsory schooling. Just because you can leave school at 15 doesn’t mean that it’s a good idea. In fact the better educated you are, the more likely you will be to get a well-paid job in an area that interests you.
Introduced in 1969, ABSTUDY was the first major national education initiative aimed at Indigenous Australians. It followed on the heels of the 1967 Referendum, which charged the Commonwealth with improving the provision of education to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. Since then it has assisted tens of thousands of students of all ages in completing their studies.
If you are at primary school and are aged 14 years or over on 1 January in the year of study, at high school, studying full-time or part-time at university or TAFE, participating in long distance education (external or correspondence), or if you are undertaking post-graduate studies (Masters or Doctorate), then ABSTUDY may be able to help you.
ABSTUDY pays an income-tested Living Allowance, as well as a number of supplementary allowances for things like accommodation, school fees, books and equipment and fares if you have to live away from home. There is also a Financial Supplement Loan available for tertiary students.
This year, some 50,000 Indigenous secondary and tertiary students are being financially assisted by ABSTUDY.
ABSTUDY is managed by the Department of Education, Training and Youth Affairs (DETYA) and administered by Centrelink, just like the Youth Allowance. If you want to know more about ABSTUDY, contact your local Centrelink office or call the ABSTUDY Hotline on 132317.