A new university scholarship program has been launched to encourage Indigenous leadership in the disability sector.
The four-year scholarship introduced last Friday was developed by Growing Potential Limited (GPL) in partnership with the University of New England (UNE).
It supports Indigenous people studying UNE’s new Graduate Certificate National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) Business Development program.
UNE Vice-Chancellor Professor Annabelle Duncan welcomes the program and says it’s an important addition to the university’s social contract.
“It is an important step in our University’s social commitment to be able to lend our expertise to the disability sector and Indigenous people in one program, and we thank Growing Potential for its endorsement,” she says.
This two-year, part-time graduate certificate was jointly developed by the disability sector and UNE to help organisations adapt to the NDIS client-centred business model introduced in 2014.
GPL’s Executive Manager of Family Services Dylan Reynolds is hopeful the scholarship can create positive impacts.
“It is our sincere hope that as each scholarship recipient completes their Graduate Certificate in NDIS Business Development, they go on to become leaders, championing innovative ways in which the disability sector can evolve to meet the service needs of Indigenous people with disability,” he says.
Mr Reynolds is already looking forward to see how it will make a difference in the future.
“This scholarship, and the certificate-level education it supports, will help Indigenous people working in the disability sector to transform their organisations to best support the needs Indigenous people with a disability.”
“We are delighted that UNE has seen a need to better educate people in the sector about organisational change, and we’re keen to see how the course that has been developed between the sector and the university can bring better disability service support to Indigenous people.”
The program’s first scholarship winner was announced at UNE’s Parramatta Future Campus on 8 December.