First Nations Economics and First Nations Foundation, two Indigenous organisations focused on improving economic outcomes for First Nations people, have launched a $120,000 scholarship program to support women studying finance and business.
The Leah Armstrong Scholarship will grant two scholarships of up to $20,000 per year for three years to First Nations women pursuing full-time studies at an Australian university or tertiary education institution.
Named in honour of trailblazing Torres Strait Islander woman and chair of First Australians Capital, Leah Armstrong, the scholarship seeks to empower First Nations economies by supporting the education of First Nations women and girls in under-represented areas such as economics, finance, business and community governance.
Addressing the program, Armstrong said she is proud to be a patron of the new scholarship and work toward boosting the number of Indigenous women in financial services.
“First Nations women play a critical role in their families and communities as leaders, nurturers and knowledge holders. However, they are less represented in the labour force and are even more underrepresented in professions such as finance and economics,” she explained.
“By creating more opportunities for First Nations women to study and work in these areas, we will also drive greater outcomes across the entire community.”
Meanwhile, First Nations Foundation chief executive Phil Usher emphasised that when First Nations and Torres Strait Islander communities take control of their futures, they achieve greater outcomes.
“The scholarship is a partnership between First Nations Foundation and First Nations Economics. Both Indigenous-led charities are dedicated to working with First Nations communities to empower local economics and build social return on investment,” he said.
First Nations Economics managing director Rick Macourt added the organisation is proud to play a role in bettering outcomes for both First Nations women and the wider economic market.
“Supporting First Nations women to lead transformation in areas such as government, financial services and within their communities is key to long-term, sustainable change that places our communities in the driving seat,” he said.
Applications open on Wednesday 20 December 2023 and close at the end of the day on Monday 29 January 2024. To access further information about the scholarship and the enrolment process, kindly refer to the following link: www.firstnationseconomics.com/scholarships