Opportunity and Equity Definitions and Criteria
Opportunity Scholarships recognise that all people have different needs and that some groups experience disadvantages that impact on their educational progress. Opportunity scholarships are awarded to students who come from one or more of the University's defined equity or personal disadvantage groups: people of Australian Indigenous descent, people from rural and isolated areas, people experiencing low socio- economic circumstances, people with a disability or long-term medical condition, people from a non-English speaking background and people experiencing long-term family difficulties.
People of Australian Indigenous descent
This category is for applicants who are Indigenous Australians, and who identify as an Indigenous Australian and are accepted as such by an Indigenous Australian community.
People from rural and isolated areas
This category is for applicants who live or have lived in a rural or isolated area. You should refer to the Australian Standard Geographic Classification (ASGC) remoteness areas classification list to determine whether you live (or have lived) in a rural or isolated area.
The classifications are:
- Major Cities
- Inner Regional
- Outer Regional
- Very Remote
Applicants must live or have lived in any of these areas except the Major Cities and Inner Regional categories to be considered as living or having lived in a rural or isolated area. You can check your eligibility for classification as a rural or isolated resident by using the Australian Standard Geographical Classification-Remoteness Area (ASGC-RA) system on the Australian Government Department of Health's website (opens in a new window).
People experiencing financial hardship circumstances
This category is for applicants who experience and can demonstrate low socio-economic circumstances. You will be required to be:
- in continuous receipt of a Department of Human Services payment ie: Austudy, Abstudy or Youth Allowance
- in receipt of a pension or allowance under the Social Security Act 1991 or Veterans' Entitlement Act 1986 or Abstudy
- able to demonstrate exceptional financial hardship, if you are not in receipt of any Department of Human Services payments or benefits. (You must provide documented evidence.)
People with a disability or long-term medical condition
This category is for those applicants who can demonstrate that they have a disability, impairment or long-term medical condition. You will be required to submit a confidential statement of support which must be completed by a responsible person such as a doctor, lawyer, accountant, social worker, counsellor, religious leader or community leader. For current Year 12 students this also includes school/college principal, school counsellor, year level coordinator or careers advisor.
Persons providing these statements must explain how the circumstances experienced have affected the applicant's educational performance. Persons providing these statements must not be related to the applicant.
People from a non-English speaking background
This category is for those who:
- Due to non-English speaking background, applicant experiences difficulties that affect their ability to study
- Came to Australia from a non-English speaking background in the last five years
- Didn’t previously undertake any formal education where the language of instruction was English
- Hasn’t undertaken two or more years of full-time study in Australia in a Diploma, Advanced Diploma, Bachelor degree or higher
Long-term difficult family circumstances
This category is for applicants who have experienced difficult family circumstances on a long-term basis which have significantly disadvantaged their education over an extended period. You will be required to submit a confidential statement of support which must be completed by a responsible person such as a school principal, doctor, lawyer, accountant, social worker, counsellor, religious leader or community leader.
Persons providing these statements must not be related to the applicant.
Some examples of long-term difficult family circumstances are:
- refugee status
- long-term illness of a family member
- applicant having carer responsibilities (children, parent, siblings etc) or excessive responsibilities in the home
- violence, abuse, alcohol/drug, criminal proceedings/issues in the family
- disrupted schooling, eg attended three or more different schools, or moved interstate during Year 12
- missed long periods of Year 12 for other than medical reasons, or commenced schooling in Australia at the beginning of Year 12
- death of immediate family member or close friend
- crowded living conditions
- work requirements to support family
- personal chronic illness
- divorce/separation of parents.