Young Indigenous Queenslanders receive top award

media release

A record number of young Indigenous Queenslanders will have the chance to pursue their dreams thanks to the latest round of the Young, Black and Proud scholarships (YBPS). 

An event held in Brisbane today paid tribute to 60 successful recipients aged 25 years and under hailing from all around the state. 

Established by the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Community Health Service (ATSICHS) Brisbane, the scholarships support the aspirations of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander young people who require financial support for education, the arts or sporting activities. 

The Queensland Family and Child Commission (QFCC) was proud to sponsor yet another amazing group of young people as they work towards their goals. 

This year over 480 applications were received, heralding a 165 per cent increase from last year’s submissions. 

ATSICHS Brisbane CEO Jody Currie said the program was established to help the next generation of young Indigenous Queenslanders realise their goals. “It’s all about providing the opportunity to celebrate the talents and strengths of our young people who show outstanding promise but may lack the support and resources to reach their potential,” Ms Currie said. 

“We aim to give back to our community and look after our mob for the future. As a leader in our sector we are dedicated to supporting their journey.”

QFCC Principal Commissioner Cheryl Vardon said the YBPS is part of an ongoing commitment to improving the lives of children and keeping kids more than safe. “We are so proud of the achievements and continuing dedication of all the young people who took the time to submit a scholarship application,” Ms Vardon said. 

“This year we have been inundated with applications filled with young people’s passions, talents and aspirations for the future which has been a humbling experience. The YBPS helps young people be one step closer to achieving their goals.” 

QFCC Commissioner, Phillip Brooks, a Bidjara, Kairi and Ducabrook man, shared the sentiment, and said he has seen first-hand how financial support could help young Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people to achieve their dreams. 

“The YBPS is another platform that demonstrates the amazing strengths of our Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander young people. Sharing these stories of success will continue to help change the future narrative of our First Nation peoples,” Mr Brooks said. 

This year the applications demonstrated commitment, dedication, and persistence of young people as they overcome the barriers to achieving their goals as well as their commitment to bettering the future for others. 

Shania, a 2019 YBPS recipient, said the scholarship was extremely beneficial in assisting her with her studies. Shania expressed that her scholarship would allow her to continue to be a role model and give back to her community. 

“I identified without adequate support and access to education, poor health can become a cycle from generation to generation. I felt I had to make a positive change to break these negative health cycles for my family and community’s future,” she said. 


•    The YBPS were launched in August 2016 by ATSICHS Brisbane. 

•    Over five rounds (2016-2018) ATSICHS Brisbane funded 22 scholarships across the Brisbane and Logan regions helping young Indigenous people pursue their artistic, sporting, education and training dreams. 

•    With a funding contribution from the QFCC in 2018 and again in 2019 ATSICHS Brisbane expanded the program across the state awarding a total of 104 scholarships over the past two years.

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