The Aurora Project

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I had such a rewarding and inspiring experience at NAAJA. The tasks I completed were usually highly interesting and challenging. I got the opportunity to be creative in my tasks. I also felt like I learnt a lot of valuable things about the issues affecting Aboriginal people in the Top End and the way policy is formulated.

Charlotte Buckton,
placed at North Australian Aboriginal Justice Agency (NAAJA)

About TAI

The Aspiration Initiative (TAI) is a joint initiative of the Aurora Project, the Charlie Perkins Trust and the University of Canberra. We are broadening the conversation about what is possible for Indigenous Australians in relation to academic achievement – from school attendance and minimum benchmarks to academic excellence in Australia and on the world stage.

We are excited to  announce the launch of The Aspiration Initiative website and invite you to join us as we broaden the conversation from school attendance and minimum benchmarks to academic excellence not only in Australia but on the world stage.​


WA students, January 2013

NSW students, Dec 2011

NSW students, December 2012

The Aurora Project, the Charlie Perkins Trust for Children & Students and the University of Canberra are currently working on a number of education initiatives known collectively as The Aspiration Initiative (TAI).

TAI aims to:

  • better understand why many talented Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students are not going to university directly from school
  • inform Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander school and university students of undergraduate and postgraduate pathways at universities in Australia and overseas
  • support and inspire students to excel in their university studies, so that they may be in a position to take advantage of opportunities, such as the many scholarships that are available for undergraduate and postgraduate study.

Current TAI projects include:

  • Indigenous scholarship guidebooks - the Indigenous students’ guide to postgraduate scholarships in Australia and overseas (November 2009) and the Indigenous students’ guide to undergraduate scholarships in Australia (August 2011)
  • the Indigenous scholarships website - a website detailing university scholarships for Australian Indigenous students, available at
  • international Indigenous scholarships - scholarship opportunities for Australian Indigenous graduates to study overseas
  • academic enrichment program for Indigenous high school students.  These programs provide intensive ongoing educational and related support during holiday periods and throughout the academic year.

The international scholarship opportunities, Indigenous Scholarships website and academic enrichment program are jointly funded by the Australian Government Department of Education.

Indigenous scholarship guidebooks and website

Financial strain is often the main reason why Indigenous students are deterred from applying to, or excelling at university, and yet many scholarships go unawarded.  Our print and online publications aim to make access to scholarship opportunities easier.

If you are an Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander student, visit our new Indigenous Scholarships website to start looking for Scholarships available to you. Use the key word search or search function on the right or browse for scholarships by Area of study or Institution.

On this site you will also find other relevant information about Going to Uni and Inspirational stories from other Aboriginal and or Torres Strait Islander students and graduates. 

International Indigenous scholarships

TAI provides talented Indigenous Australians with the opportunity to undertake study at overseas institutions.  The Charlie Perkins Scholarship Trust provides funding for postgraduate scholarships to both Oxford and Cambridge universities.  The Roberta Sykes Indigenous Education Foundation awards scholarships for postgraduate study at any overseas universities.

Academic enrichment program for Indigenous students

Kinglake Ranges Wilderness Camp, Jan. 2012

To better support Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander high school students, TAI runs an academic enrichment program for cohorts of 30 students in Year 8 across three states, NSW, Victoria and WA.

Students participate in over 20 days of support per year from Year 8 through to the end of their first year at university. 

The program includes a residential component which is run during school holiday periods and further support throughout the school term.