- Charles Sturt University received $100,000 to support First Nations agricultural students through scholarship program
- The Riverina Oils Indigenous Agriculture Support Scholarships are worth $25,000 each and are available for commencing and continuing agricultural students
- Scholarships aim to increase First Nations student enrolments and graduates in agricultural courses
Charles Sturt University was today presented with a pledge of $100,000 from Riverina Oils to go towards scholarships that will assist First Nations students to commence and complete a degree in agricultural studies at the University.
The Riverina Oils Indigenous Agriculture Support Scholarships are available for commencing and continuing agricultural students to assist with the cost of educational expenses such as repaying the Higher Education Contribution Scheme (HECS), purchasing textbooks, or for contributing to work placement or accommodation expenses.
Research Professor of Agriculture Jim Pratley in the Charles Sturt School of Agricultural, Environmental and Veterinary Sciences and Graham Centre for Agricultural Innovation welcomed the donation which was presented by CEO of Riverina Oils Mr Scott Whiteman.
Professor Pratley was the driving force behind the establishment of the Charles Sturt Indigenous Agriculture Initiative, which aims to support First Nations students to pursue a career in agriculture, of which this scholarship is making a contribution.
“For too long First Nations people have been undervalued for their extensive knowledge on land management practices which should be fostered by supporting career development in the agricultural sector,” Professor Pratley said.
“First Nations people have been managing our landscape for thousands of years and their kinship with country has great synergy for long-term careers in the ag sector.
“This scholarship program could make the difference between someone having the financial capacity to commence or complete an agricultural degree at Charles Sturt.
“Students will be able to pursue one of our Charles Sturt agricultural courses along with contributing to research about First Nations agricultural and land management practices with a goal of integrating these cultural learnings into Charles Sturt agriculture courses,” he said.
CEO of Riverina Oils, Mr Scott Whiteman said it was important for the business to do their part in providing sustainable employment for First Nations people in the agricultural sector.
“Riverina Oils is eager to help and contribute to a generational change in our Indigenous communities.
“Our aim is to provide opportunities and is the reason why it was so important for us to work with Charles Sturt University to offer the Riverina Oils Indigenous Agriculture Support Scholarship.
“We have a lot to learn from our Indigenous community, particularly with respect to agriculture and land management. We are looking to help foster Indigenous careers, not just jobs,” Mr Whiteman said.
The Riverina Oils Indigenous Agriculture Support Scholarship is currently open for applications for the 2022 academic year and will close at 9am on Tuesday 22 February 2022.
There are four scholarships on offer, one per year between 2022 and 2025, totaling $25,000 each per annum.
Candidates must identify as Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander, and can be in any year of study pursuing either a Charles Sturt Bachelor of Agriculture or Bachelor of Agricultural Science through the Charles Sturt in Wagga Wagga.
For further information or to submit an application visit the Charles Sturt website.
For further information on Riverina Oils visit Riverina Oils