About the Scholarship

Ensuring the next generation of Indigenous psychologists trained in best practice (#BuildAnArmy)

The Jilya Institute is developing the next generation of Indigenous psychologists to provide our best opportunity of addressing the escalating rates of indigenous child suicides, which are now the highest in the world.

Dr Westerman has personally, funded and launched the Dr Tracy Westerman Aboriginal Psychology Scholarship Program. This Australia first initiative directly addresses the needs of bereaved Indigenous families and communities based upon decades of Inquiries, the most recent being the Fogliani Coronial Inquiry into the deaths of 13 Aboriginal children in the Kimberley which cited that all of the bereaved children experienced ‘system failure’ or more specifically a lack of access to specialist programs and services in these high risk areas. Dr Westerman started the scholarship as a direct response to this critical need in Indigenous communities which have not been responded to by successive governments. The scholarship includes:

  • A personal donation of $51,800 to commence the scholarship in her name. Refer to media here.
  • The donation of her time to develop the scholarship and fund raise to ensure the expansion of the scholarship,
  • Whilst Dr Westerman hoped to fund one scholarship in the inaugural year (2019), the momentum generated from her personal fundraising endeavours via social media attracted significant donations from the corporate and private sector which to date have tallied over $800,000.
  • The Dr Tracy Westerman Indigenous Psychology Scholarship Program exists completely on the strength of Dr Westerman’s energy, profile and initiative in finding funding from corporate, private and government departments. We are aiming and continuing to #BuildAnArmy through people power.

As Dr Westerman has stated:

“Australians care about this issue. We have given them the opportunity to show that and they have responded in a way that is truly humbling”

As a result of this incredible support from the public we were able to announce FIVE Indigenous students were able to be awarded as initial recipients of the scholarship. Our objective is not only to expand the scholarship in terms of numbers but to also see these recipients through to the completion of their psychology degrees & ideally into masters qualifications.


YOU CAN DONATE TO THIS INCREDIBLE INITIATIVE ALSO. Further information download the Jilya Scholarship Brochure