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Thursday, 22 May 1980
Page: 3261

Mr Holding asked the Minister for Education, upon notice, on 20 May 1980:

(1)   When was the Aboriginal Overseas Study Grants program commenced.

(2)   What funds have been allocated for this program in each financial year since its inception.

(3)   How many applications for grants were made in each of those years.

(4)   How many of those applications were (a) granted and (b) refused.

(   5 ) What were the reasons for refusal in each case.

(6)   How many (a) Aboriginal and (b) non-Aboriginal persons are responsible for making recommendations and administering this program and what are their substantive Public Service classifications.

Mr Fife - The answer to the honourable member's question is as follows:

(   1 ) The first awards under the Aboriginal Overseas Study Awards Scheme were granted in1975.


(4)   A maximum of ten awards are available each year. In 1975, the first year of the Scheme's operation, nine awards were granted. In all other years ten awards have been made.

(5)   The Scheme is a competitive one with a maximum of ten awards available each year. Successful applicants are selected on their merits in relation to selection criteria of the following kind:

Awardees should be leaders, or potential leaders, in the Aboriginal community who, after a period of overseas study, would be better able to assist in the development of their community. Applicants are assessed on the basis of their background and experience, their capacity for absorbing and then imparting knowledge gained overseas, and the relevance of their proposed study program to their present and future employment or community service. The knowledge or experience gained overseas should be additional to that which would be available in Australia.

(6)   A Selection Committee is responsible for making recommendations to me regarding awards to applicants. There are four members of the Committee, three of whom are Aborigines. The Chairman, who is non-Aboriginal is an Assistant Secretary in the Department of Education. The member representing the Department of Aboriginal Affairs Clerk, Class 7, in that Department. The members representing the National Aboriginal Conference and the National Aboriginal Education Committee are not Commonwealth Public Servants.

The officer administering the scheme in the Department of Education is a Clerk, Class 7, and he is non-Abonginal.

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