Are you an Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander Social and Emotional Wellbeing (SEWB) worker looking to upskill and/or gain tertiary qualifications in mental health?

Or do you want a career in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander SEWB and need to gain qualifications to work in the mental health sector? We’ve got an opportunity for you!

The Balit Durn Durn Centre is committed to ensuring that our Community can access culturally safe services and supports to help in their healing. A key initiative to achieve this is to grow the Aboriginal SEWB Workforce in Victoria. By growing the Aboriginal SEWB teams we can ensure that we have the best Community driven and delivered, culturally safe, health and wellbeing support for our people, by our people.

We are creating opportunities for professional growth and development through our Aboriginal SEWB Scholarship Program to help Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people obtain recognised qualifications from approved public tertiary providers.

Scholarships will be available for both clinical and therapeutic courses to ensure that SEWB teams can respond to the specific social and emotional wellbeing needs of local Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Communities.

The program is designed to be flexible for scholarship recipients. Recipients can study full time, part time, on campus and/or online (subject to course requirements) to support those with work commitments (check eligibility criteria below).

Program components:

Orientation and pre-scholarship support: provided by the Balit Durn Durn Centre and tertiary providers

Education: deliver relevant qualification by a registered tertiary provider

Course placement: placements where possible, preferably in Aboriginal SEWB

Employment: expectation of ongoing employment in an Aboriginal SEWB role following successful course completion

Mentorship and Peer support: Students will have access to culturally safe supports offered by the universities and additional cultural support provided by the Centre

Following successful completion of your course, scholarship recipients may be offered ongoing employment or may consider pursuing higher qualifications through the Program. Individuals who have completed relevant undergraduate studies will be eligible for a selection of postgraduate scholarships.

What courses are available?

The Aboriginal SEWB Scholarship Program, will be delivered in partnership with RMIT and Deakin University.

The program qualifications have been identified as disciplines that will support the state-wide expansion of Aboriginal SEWB teams and address identified workforce gaps in Aboriginal social and emotional wellbeing.

Both clinical and therapeutic courses have been identified to ensure that SEWB teams are able to respond to the specific social and emotional wellbeing needs of local Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Communities. For example, there have been clear links acknowledged between mental health and alcohol and other drugs (AOD). Registered practitioners are also greatly under-represented in the workforce and Aboriginal SEWB teams.

There is also an opportunity for individuals with prior qualifications to be upskilled in higher qualifications where large shortages exist in the sector. Scholarship are available for the following qualifications:

Note: if you are interested in a course not on this list however links to SEWB please reach out to the Balit Durn Durn Centre to discuss.

RMIT Online Application
Deakin University Online Application
Scholarship Application Process

Here are the steps you need to take to apply for the scholarship program:

Ensure you met the eligibility criteria for the course you wish to study (RMIT Courses here | Deakin University courses here) and the eligibility criteria for the scholarship program (detailed above)

Provide a written response to the application questions

Seek a written a support letter from your employer or a support letter from an Indigenous Community member (OPTIONAL)

Attach all supporting documentation endorsing your application


Selection process
Once applications close, all applications will be reviewed based on eligibility and merit criteria (described above) by Aboriginal representatives from the Balit Durn Durn Centre, the respective University and the Department of Health. To ensure that applicants strengths are recognised, it is important that the selection process is not only based on an applicants written responses. Short-listed applicants will be invited to have a yarn in a culturally safe and comfortable environment. This is an opportunity for the applicant to discuss their passion for Aboriginal SEWB and their future career pathways that will inform the final decision to award a scholarship.

The following criteria will be considered in the assessment of your application:

applicants employed in an Aboriginal SEWB role or employed by an ACCO

consideration will be given to individuals who can demonstrate a clear intention and commitment to Aboriginal social and emotional wellbeing

rural/regional/remote applicants

applicants that are currently enrolled in a course that is available through program

applicants applying for a postgraduate degree must meet the eligibility criteria for the chosen course.

applicants not receiving other funding support (for example, scholarships, grants or financial support from an organisation or institutions)

*Note: employers will be encouraged to manage employment commitments throughout the program and following successful completion of the scholarship program to support workforce retention and sustainability.
RMIT Online Application
Deakin University Online Application