Currently, only 0.18% of doctors and 1.1% of medical students in Australia are Indigenous. There are relatively few Indigenous students enrolled in tertiary health studies, and only 120 enrolled in medicine across Australia. The University of New South Wales (UNSW) currently has 19 students, enrolling eight students into first year medicine this year, with half offered residential scholarships at Shalom College through the Shalom Gamarada Ngiyani Yana scholarship program. Shalom Gamarada runs in partnership with the UNSW’s Shalom College, Nura Gili Indigenous Programs Unit and the Muru Marri Indigenous Health Unit, and has done so from 2005. We have been able to assist 15 students to study medicine, optometry and medical science. Each scholarship is valued at $15 000 per year and covers full board and tutoring support at the College on the university’s Kensington campus. Conditional on passing their examinations, each student awarded a scholarship has tenure until they complete their degree. Currently, there are eight Indigenous students on scholarships residing at Shalom College — seven medical and one optometry, with four in first year, two in second year, one in third year and one in fourth year.
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