The Aurora Project

Skip to content

Most rewarding aspects were being able to read and see professional anthropological reports and the way in which the legal requirements of native title influence these as well as being able to attend a Consent Determination which was truly inspiring experience - one I won't forget

Renata Centinich,
placed at Kimberley Land Council (Aboriginal Corporation) (KLC)

Don’t miss an opportunity to attend the annual Aurora Indigenous Scholars International Study Tour!

2013 International Study Tour participants

The Tour is a great introduction to life as a postgraduate student at some of the world’s leading universities.


The Aurora Project is seeking applications from high achieving Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander undergraduates in any field of study, who have completed at least two years of their course of study. University graduates are also welcome to apply. 

In 2013, the Aurora Indigenous Scholars International Study Tour ran for 32 days, during which the Scholars visited Stanford, Columbia, New York University, Harvard, Oxford and Cambridge.This year’s schedule is currently being finalised but will include visits to leading institutions in the UK and the US, and involve meetings with key administration staff and faculties from each university, as well as current students in the areas of the participants’ interest.   


Sixteen Indigenous students participated in November 2013.  Here are some reflections from last year’s Tour:

“Prior to Oxford and Cambridge, I was mostly convinced I would need to wait another year before applying. But following successful meetings at both these schools, it became more of a question of - why wait?”

-       Jessyca Hutchens, University of Western Australia – 2014 Charlie Perkins Scholar

“Before the Tour I never knew so many Indigenous scholars existed across a variety of fields. … In the past I've felt quite isolated as a scholar who identifies as being Indigenous but now I don't.  Now I feel empowered and reassured that there is a worldwide network of people who have had similar experiences and struggles and that together we can accomplish just about anything.”

-       Tamara Murdock, Edith Cowan University – 2014 Charlie Perkins Scholar

“Despite my academic success, and subsequent work in the field, I never could have imagined myself sitting in an office in New York City having a conversation with the UN’s leader in Indigenous Human Rights, or being at Harvard University sharing thoughts on racial identity with academic representatives from some of the Western worlds most ostracised Indigenous cultures.”  

-       Nathan West, University of Newcastle-2014 Roberta Sykes Scholar

 You can read more reflections on the November 2013 trip here

Applications for the 2014 Study Tour open at 9 am AEST on Monday 2 June 2014, and close at 5pm AEST on Friday 11 July 2014.

  To apply

 Complete the online application form available on this website (submissions are currently closed, but will open at 9am on Monday 2 June 2014
 With the online application form you will need to attach the following documentation:

  • A cover letter (including a personal statement about your background, career aspirations and reasons for wanting to go on the Tour).
  • A curriculum vitae
  • An official transcript of all university results (including mid-year results, if available)
  • A list identifying one academic contact (such as a Professor) that you would like to meet at each academic institution you are interested in visiting (Harvard, Columbia, NYU, Oxford and Cambridge), and one administrative contact (such as a Course Coordinator)
  • Confirmation of Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander descent through a signed written statement (including common seal) of an Aboriginal Heritage Association, Aboriginal Corporation or Land Council in the community where you live or have lived
  • A passport-sized photo.

You will need to arrange for three written references (two of which should be academic references), to be forwarded by your referees directly to Tess Crellin at Aurora.


The successful applicants will be chosen primarily on the basis of academic achievement (Distinction average or higher) but also on the basis of their potential to become leaders in their field of study and in their communities.  Preference will be given to students in the final year of their undergraduate studies.  We are looking for applicants who have the potential to become Charlie Perkins and Roberta Sykes Scholars.