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Extra support for Indigenous scholarship holders.

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The Hon Julia Gillard MP

Minister for Education. Minister for Employment and Workplace Relations

Minister for Social Inclusion. Deputy Prime Minister

04 December, 2008

Media Release

Extra support for Indigenous scholarship holders

The Minister for Education, Julia Gillard, today announced new changes to the ABSTUDY eligibility criteria which will ensure Indigenous scholarship holders receive financial assistance for travel costs.

Under the new changes, eligible Indigenous secondary students who win scholarships to attend high performing boarding schools through the Higher Expectations Program (HEP) will now be eligible for financial assistance to meet interstate travel costs.

The HEP was established by the Cape York Institute, with support from the Australian Government and the Macquarie Group Foundation, to give talented Indigenous students in Far North Queensland opportunities in secondary education.

This support will also be available for students who are awarded a Rosemary Bishop Indigenous Education Scholarship.

The changes are a part of the Australian Government’s commitment to providing quality educational opportunities for Indigenous students and to close the gap in educational outcomes between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians.

Scholarship holders will still be required to meet all other ABSTUDY eligibility criteria, including the parental income, assets and actual means-tests.

The ABSTUDY Policy Manual will be updated to reflect the changes announced today and Centrelink will be advised of these changes. The ABSTUDY Policy Manual can be found at:

Media Contact: Deputy Prime Minister’s Press Office: 02 6277 7758 Non-media queries: 1300 363 079