Thursday, 19 June 2014

2014 Aurora Indigenous Scholars International Study Tour to the UK and the US

Contact: Tess Crellin, The Aurora Project

Date: late October 2014 (see details)          Applications close 11 July
Location: UK & US - see details

Intended Audience: Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander students and graduates

Are you an Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander student or graduate interested in postgraduate study overseas?

Why not apply for the 2014 Aurora Indigenous Scholars International Study Tour to the UK and the US?

For those contemplating postgraduate study overseas, the Aurora Study Tour provides an invaluable opportunity to travel with a group of like-minded students, visit universities and meet with academics, administrators and current postgraduate students in your area of interest at Cambridge and Oxford universities in the UK, and Berkeley (TBC), Columbia, Harvard, NYU and Stanford (TBC) in the US. The Tour is a great introduction to life as a postgraduate student at some of the world's leading universities.

The Aurora Project is seeking applications from high achieving Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander undergraduates in any field of study, who have completed at least two years of their course of study. University graduates are also welcome to apply.

The group of successful applicants (around 15 in total) will leave Australia in late October or early November and spend approximately 2½ weeks in the US visiting Berkeley (TBC), Stanford (TBC), Harvard, Columbia and NYU, and approximately 2 weeks at Cambridge and Oxford. All costs associated with travel, accommodation and meals will be covered by Aurora and its supporters – last year each of the Australian universities where Scholars were studying were asked to contribute to the costs. Applicants may elect to join the full Tour, or only the UK or US components (the schedule is currently being finalised).

Sixteen Indigenous students participated in November 2013. Here are some reflections from last year's Tour:

"Prior to Oxford and Cambridge, I was mostly convinced I would need to wait another year before applying. But following successful meetings at both these schools, it became more of a question of - why wait?"
Jessyca Hutchens, University of Western Australia – 2014 Charlie Perkins Scholar to Oxford

"Despite my academic success, and subsequent work in the field, I never could have imagined myself sitting in an office in New York City having a conversation with the UN's leader in Indigenous Human Rights, or being at Harvard University sharing thoughts on racial identity with academic representatives from some of the Western worlds most ostracised Indigenous cultures."
Nathan West, University of Newcastle – 2014 Roberta Sykes Scholar to Cambridge

"This trip has changed my outlook on my capabilities and what I can achieve. I had never expected to be selected for this trip and could not imagine what it would be like to be at universities such as these. … I think it's safe to say that the Tour has opened many doors of opportunity for me."
Chenaya Bancroft-Davis, Griffith University

"The Tour makes the prospect of studying at such universities real and achievable, and not elusive and simply a fanciful pipe dream. … This Tour certainly enabled me to imagine my prospects as being wider and more exciting than I had previously imagined."
Garry Jones, Australian National University

You can read more about the students' experiences of last year's Tour in the attached reflections.

Applications are open now and close at 5pm AEST on Friday 11 July 2014.

To apply, complete the online application form.

With the online application form you will need to attach the following documentation:

  • A cover letter (including a personal statement about your background, career aspirations and reasons for wanting to go on the Tour)
  • A curriculum vitae
  • An official transcript of university results (including mid-year results, if available)
  • A list identifying one academic contact (such as a Professor) and one administrative contact (such as a Course Coordinator) that you would like to meet at each academic institution you are interested in visiting (Berkeley - TBC, Stanford - TBC, Harvard, Columbia, NYU, Oxford and Cambridge)
  • Confirmation of Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander descent through a signed written statement (including common seal) of an Aboriginal Heritage Association, Aboriginal Corporation or Land Council in the community where you live or have lived
  • Three written references (including two academic references), which should be forwarded directly to at Aurora by your referees
  • A high-resolution photo (headshot preferably) that could be used in promotional material, should you be selected to go on the Tour

The successful applicants will be chosen primarily on the basis of academic achievement (Distinction average or higher) but also on the basis of their potential to become leaders in their field of study and in their communities. Preference will be given to students in the final year of their undergraduate studies. We are looking for applicants who have the potential to become Charlie Perkins and Roberta Sykes Scholars.

Any questions should be emailed to and should include a contact telephone number.

To find out more about the Charlie Perkins Scholarships for postgraduate study at Oxford or Cambridge, go to

To find out more about the Roberta Sykes Scholarships for postgraduate study at any overseas academic institution, go to

Best regards
Richard Potok