Puggy Hunter Memorial Scholarship Scheme

The Puggy Hunter Memorial Scholarship Scheme (PHMSS) assists entry-level First Nations students to complete their studies and join the health workforce. From 1 July 2024, the PHMSS will transition to a First Nations-led organisation with no changes for current and future scholarship recipients.

Please note the open competitive grant process, to appoint a First Nations-led organisation, closed on January 22, 2024.  Outcomes will be advised shortly. 

About the initiative

The PHMSS provides financial assistance to approximately 100 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander undergraduate students annually. The scheme applies to students who study an entry-level course in a health-related discipline at:

  • University
  • Higher Education Provider
  • TAFE
  • Registered training organisation.

The scholarship scheme aims to:

  • improve the capacity and quality of the First Nations’ health workforce.
  • encourage health professionals to deliver outreach activities in regional, rural and remote locations.
  • improve the health outcomes of First Nations people living in regional, rural and remote locations.

Transitioning the scheme

From 1 July 2024, its management will transition to a First Nations led organisation that will be identified through an open competitive grant opportunity process.  The PHMSS is currently managed by the Australian College of Nursing’s (ACN).

The Australian Government recognises a need for the PHMSS to be delivered, developed and administered by First Nations people, who bring deep understanding of students’ cultural needs and aspirations. 

This approach facilitates and supports:

  • stronger First Nations peoples’ participation in the Health Workforce.
  • provision of Financial Assistance to students in health-related disciplines.
  • improved capacity and quality within the First Nations’ health workforce.
  • improved outcomes for First Nations people in regional, rural and remote locations.

This transition is guided by the National Agreement on Closing the Gap and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Workforce Strategic Framework and Implementation Plan (2021-2031) that commits to ongoing collaboration with First Nations stakeholders, and the implementation of co-designed initiatives) to increase and support Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander representation in the health workforce.

We acknowledge the Australian College of Nursing’s (ACN) delivery of the PHMSS (since 2002) and commit to ensuring a smooth transition.

Meeting our goals

In the 2023-24 Federal Budget, the Australian Government committed $1 million to support effective transition of the PHMSS to a First Nations-led organisation.

To meet this goal, we invited First Nations stakeholders to provide input into the design of the grant opportunity to find a suitable First Nations led organisation.

Grant applications are now being assessed to appoint a First Nations-led organisation to deliver the PHMSS.

Apply for funding

The funding application window has now closed. Information on the PHMSS Open Grants Process was published on GrantConnect on December 7, 2023. 

Status

The PHMSS Grant Opportunity (GO6066) published on Grant Connect closed on January 22, 2024. Eligible applications are currently being assessed.

Learn more

Australian College of Nursing Indigenous health scholarships

Contact

Puggy Hunter Memorial Scholarship Scheme transition contact

Contact the Australian College of Nursing for any questions about the current Puggy Hunter Memorial Scholarship Scheme.
Date last updated:

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