Our Fundraising Goal is $100,000

The Westerman Jilya Institute for Indigenous Mental Health is focused on increasing the number of Indigenous psychologists in Australia to address what has become decades of neglect in the provision of access to clinically and culturally competent services to high risk communities.  The Dr Tracy Westerman Indigenous Psychology Scholarship runs solely by donations and support from our major sponsors. The scholarship aims to differ from other scholarships by not just being “transactional” or about financial support alone and it is for this reason that Dr Westerman’s personal mentoring of students is undertaken probono. The work of the Jilya Board, similarly is without payment. However, the expansion of this critical initiative will only be possible with operational funding to employ a dedicated Scholarships and Fundraising manager. It is important that links are created with Universities; access to tutoring and pastoral support is consolidated for our students; the development of partnerships with organisations to guarantee student placements, post graduation employment surety amongst many other tasks!

You can help us by making a direct donation here:


The Jilya Institute is committed to increasing the number of Indigenous Psychologists in Australia. This directly addresses the needs of Indigenous communities and families who continue to have a lack of access to clinically and culturally appropriate specialist services. This will provide the best opportunity our Nation has in addressing the escalating rates of Indigenous mental health and child suicides, which are now the highest in the world. Through the Scholarship Jilya intends to #BuildAnArmy of Indigenous psychologists.  The scholarship preferences those who have remote and rural connections and/or who wish to return to a remote or rural area to work in Indigenous communities upon the completion of their degree. The scholarship includes:

  • A $10,000 bursary that can be used to support the student in a way that enables them to meet the rigorous demands that come with Psychology training
  • Mentoring and support of scholarship recipients via research, training and other networking opportunities

Why Do we need more Indigenous psychologists

Imagine having a child caught in the grip of  mental illness and there are no services to help. Imagine when you do find a service they struggle with the very basics of cultural understanding that the opportunity for healing is effectively lost”

Dr Tracy Westerman

The ‘system’ has been built by non-Indigenous people, to meet the needs  of non-Indigenous people, and is delivered to Indigenous people by, frequently, non-Indigenous people. It is therefore unsurprising that this is failing and the implications of doing nothing new or different are clear. Listen here to Dr Tracy Westerman speaking on ABCs “All In The Mind” on “Why we need more Indigenous Psychologists”

Our children deserve a better future.

Indigenous children die by suicide at 6 times the rate of non-Indigenous children. Our highest risk communities are consistently our most remote. Help us to #BuildAnArmy of Indigenous Psychologists to address the needs of these communities, where successive Governments have failed. Our country has now had generationally the highest child suicide rates in the world. The Dr Tracy Westerman Indigenous Psychology Scholarship Program directly addresses the needs of bereaved Indigenous parents and communities by ensuring access to specialist clinical and cultural services into these regions.