Shape your future


Aboriginal Employment Pathways

Are you an Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander (Aboriginal) student undertaking full-time tertiary studies in Victoria?

The Aboriginal Tertiary Scholarship Program aims to support Victorian Aboriginal students in completing their studies.

Recipients of the scholarship receive a fortnightly study allowance to undertake full-time study in a broad range of fields related to the business of the Department of Justice and Community Safety.

Scholarship recipient profiles

Bree Lovett

Receiving a scholarship in 2017/18 enabled Bree to attain top grades without having to balance part time work.

Now a successful candidate for the 2019 graduate program, Bree aspires to influence and facilitate positive change for Aboriginal affairs from a government level.


2018 scholarship recipient, Bree Lovett, Gunditjmara clan

Photo: 2018 scholarship recipient
Bree Lovett
Gunditjmara clan

“I strive towards making a positive change for the future of Aboriginal Victorians.”

Zachary Penrith-Puchalski

Having received the $30,000 scholarship, Zachary intends to impact youth justice and Aboriginal issues through policy making within the Department of Justice and Community Safety.

The scholarship has enabled Zachary to focus on his studies and achieve higher grades by alleviating the stress of financial responsibilities.


2018 Scholarship recipient, Zachary Penrith-Puchalski, Yorta Yorta and Dja Dja Warrung clans

Photo: 2019 scholarship recipient
Zachary Penrith-Puchalski
Yorta Yorta and Dja Dja Wurrung clans

“Inspired by stories from community, I will continue to listen and learn through my future career in justice.”

A pathway to employment

Through the Aboriginal Tertiary Scholarship Programs, recipients are invited to attend the department’s annual Aboriginal Employee Network conference and participate in a work placement within the department or its related agencies.

These opportunities enable recipients to build valuable networks that can lead to real employment opportunities post-graduation.

One of the ways scholarship recipients may gain employment in the department is through the Aboriginal Graduate Scheme.

The graduate scheme offers a 12 month paid position that can provide a direct pathway to ongoing, full-time employment.

The graduate scheme offers access to benefits such as:

  • strong Aboriginal employee networks
  • the Aboriginal career development program
  • mentoring
  • learning and development opportunities
  • NAIDOC and Ceremonial/cultural leave.

For further information or to apply contact:

The Aboriginal Employment Team

Department of Justice and Community Safety

03 8684 1751 or (External link)

Banner art: Ngali Yanhagirri (We Will Go Together) by Michael Bogie 

Michael joined the department in 2012 and was an original participant in the department’s Koori Mentoring Program. Michael currently works as a Prison Officer at the Beechworth Correctional Centre.