8 March, 2023

Lowitja Institute and the Lowitja O’Donoghue Foundation are proud to announce the inaugural Lowitja O’Donoghue Foundation Nursing Scholarships now open for 2023.

Upon its establishment in 2010, the Lowitja Institute was named in honour of its patron, Dr Lowitja O’Donoghue, arguably Australia’s most recognised Aboriginal woman – a powerful and unrelenting advocate for her people and an inspiration to many.

The Lowitja O’Donoghue Foundation was announced on 1 August 2022 to celebrate the 90th birthday of Dr Lowitja O’Donoghue AC CBE DSG.

Adjunct Professor Janine Mohamed, CEO of Lowitja Institute, said the opening round of the inaugural scholarships in nursing is a tribute to the dedication and passion Dr O’Donoghue displayed throughout her extensive career in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health.

“It is with such great pride we offer these inaugural scholarships for a Diploma of Nursing which are available to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people Australia wide,” Adjunct Professor Mohamed said.

“The Lowitja O’Donoghue Foundation was established with the blessing of Dr. O’Donoghue, who is delighted to encourage more nurses into the workforce to benefit Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health and wellbeing outcomes.”

Yankunytjatjara woman Dr O’Donoghue has made an immensely significant contribution to the advancement of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander rights, and has produced significant outcomes in health, education, political representation, land rights and reconciliation.

In 1954, Dr O’Donoghue became the first Aboriginal trainee nurse at the Royal Adelaide Hospital in South Australia, resulting in triple certificate qualifications.

Adjunct Professor Mohamed said the Lowitja O’Donoghue Foundation acknowledges, recognises, and preserves the extraordinary legacy of Dr. O’Donoghue’s dedicated lifetime of work, whilst creating opportunities for advancement and change.

“At 90 years of age, Dr O’Donoghue is proud of her continuing and much cherished association with the Lowitja Institute and supports the Foundation’s aim of building the next generation of aspiring Aboriginal leaders.”

Open for applications this week, the Lowitja O’Donoghue Foundation Nursing Scholarships will support Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people enrolled in a Diploma of Nursing to strive for excellence whilst in the pursuit of their aspirations.

The successful applicants will have the opportunity to create a prestigious pathway of their own as the inaugural scholarship recipient, whilst sharing in the legacy of Dr O’Donoghue’s pioneering career in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health.

“We are very grateful for the donations received for the Foundation to date and look forward to receiving more support for this important initiative,” said Adjunct Professor Mohamed.

“I felt that, because I was the first Aboriginal nurse there, I always had to show that Aboriginal people are as good as everyone else.”

– Dr Lowitja O’Donoghue from Lowitja, the authorised biography by Stuart Rintoul

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