The Victorian health sector has been working to provide access to culturally safe health services that will improve outcomes for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.
Increasing the number of Aboriginal health professionals across all disciplines will improve access to culturally safe health care to achieve better health outcomes for the Aboriginal community. Having a strong and sustainable Aboriginal workforce is a key priority of , the Aboriginal Health, Wellbeing and Safety Strategic Plan 2017-2027.
The cadetship program provides an opportunity for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander nursing and/or midwifery or allied health students to gain extra skills and experience in a positive and culturally safe environment.
Aboriginal cadetship programs involve health services providing paid work placement of a minimum of 8 weeks (or 40 shifts) full-time equivalent.
If you're an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander student, this program supports you to gain both professional qualifications and practical experience. It can also connect you with potential employers.
The benefits of Aboriginal cadetships include:
- income while studying
- the opportunity to work in a chosen health service
- exposure to the work environment and workplace culture
- familiarisation with a potential future place of employment
- skill consolidation through practice
- mentoring by Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal staff
- formation of professional networks
- build personal and professional growth and confidence
- build career opportunities.
If you identify as an Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander and you are enrolled in a course that will lead to a certified qualification, then you may be eligible to apply for an Aboriginal cadetship.
To be eligible you must:
- be enrolled in a Diploma of Nursing or a Bachelor of Nursing and/or Midwifery degree or a bachelor's degree, or masters level entry degree, in an allied health discipline
- have progressed beyond your first year of study and be maintaining a minimum pass grade in all subjects.
If you're interested in applying for an Aboriginal cadetship, talk to your People and Culture team or Aboriginal liaison officer at your health service. Health services will submit an application for a cadetship on your behalf.
Table 1: Allied health disciplines
|Therapy discipline||Science discipline|
Note: Not all Victorian public health services offer cadetships in each allied health discipline.
Aboriginal Nursing and Midwifery Postgraduate Scholarship Program
The Department of Health is providing financial support to undertake postgraduate studies through the Aboriginal Nursing and Midwifery Postgraduate Scholarships Program. The key purpose of the program is to provide an opportunity for Aboriginal nurses and midwives to gain specialty skills while employed within a Victorian public health service.
Scholarships will support you to achieve your career development goals, while reducing some of the financial burden of doing postgraduate studies. The scholarship program is aimed at Aboriginal nurses and midwives considering, or doing, postgraduate studies at a certificate or diploma level.
Scholarships of up to $10,000 are available for graduate certificate courses across one year, and up to $20,000 for graduate diploma courses across 2 years.
The Aboriginal Postgraduate Nursing and Midwifery Scholarship Program targets the following areas of practice:
- palliative care (Cherie Waight Nursing Scholarship)
- aged care, renal dialysis, chronic disease, diabetes, and oncology
- other postgraduate nursing and midwifery courses.
Are you an Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander registered nurse and/or midwife and wanting to develop your career? If yes, or you're currently doing a postgraduate nursing or midwifery qualification and are employed at a Victorian public health service, you may be eligible for this support.
If you're interested in applying for a postgraduate nursing or midwifery scholarship, talk to your People and Culture team or Aboriginal liaison officer at your health service.
Aboriginal Health Worker Training Scholarship Program
The Department of Health, in partnership with the Victorian Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisation (VACCHO), is providing scholarships to support professional development.
Training scholarships valued at up to $4,000 are available to Aboriginal health workers and practitioners to support one year of professional development activity.
Training scholarships are intended to remove the financial barriers to doing professional development training. Some examples of what training scholarships can help with are:
- course tuition costs
- education equipment costs
- financial support to cover travel costs
- child minding costs.
Are you an Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander health worker or practitioner looking to undertake professional development training? If you're working within an Aboriginal Community Controlled Organisation (ACCO) or Victorian public health service then you may be eligible to apply.
Reviewed 17 October 2023