Australian-first Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander research scholarship unveiled

12 Jul 2019

An Australian-first scholarship aimed at encouraging Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander nurses/midwives to pursue postgraduate research has launched in Adelaide today.

The $20,000 scholarship is being funded by SA-based national nursing/midwifery fundraising organisation the Rosemary Bryant Foundation, named in honour of Australia’s first chief nurse and midwifery officer.

“We wanted to create an opportunity for Australia’s Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander nurses and midwives to contribute to solutions to the health care issues and challenges facing their communities,” Dr Rosemary Bryant AO says.

“The scholarship will build the capacity of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander nurses/midwives so they can lead research that will make a real difference in their communities,” she says.

The innovative scholarship will be offered through the University of South Australia (UniSA) Rosemary Bryant AO Research Centre.

Professor Marion Eckert, Director of the Rosemary Bryant AO Research Centre, explains that the scholarship will be fundamental in helping to achieve research milestones in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health care much sooner.

“In research, collaboration is everything. Sharing and exploring ideas with others in your field helps to accelerate findings much quicker than working in isolation. It provides an opportunity to learn from one another no matter what community you are from,” Prof Eckert says.

“It also means the people who understand the health care issues affecting their community can inform the research that drives better healthcare and influence health and wellbeing outcomes,” she says.

The initiative has also drawn the support of the Australian Nursing and Midwifery Federation (SA Branch).

“We fully support this initiative for its role in promoting leadership among Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander nurses/midwives, empowering them to drive much-needed health care improvements in their communities,” says ANMF (SA Branch) CEO/Secretary Adj Associate Professor Elizabeth Dabars AM.

The scholarship supports Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander nurses and/or midwives to undertake a Masters by Research Scholarship as an external student through UniSA’s School of Nursing and Midwifery next year.

The Rosemary Bryant Foundation is a national charity committed to advancing nursing and midwifery by funding translatable research initiatives that relate to clinical practice, policy development and workforce planning.

People can learn more about the Foundation and support nursing and midwifery research at or by emailing