Bentley: Indigenous students at Curtin can follow Dr Tracy Westerman’s footsteps with new scholarship

Centre for Aboriginal Studies Director Professor Marion Kickett, Dr Tracy Westerman and Head of the School of Psychology at Curtin Professor Adrian North
Centre for Aboriginal Studies Director Professor Marion Kickett, Dr Tracy Westerman and Head of the School of Psychology at Curtin Professor Adrian North

THE generosity of 2018 Australian of the Year Tracy Westerman will allow indigenous students studying psychology at Curtin University to follow in her footsteps.

Dr Westerman, in collaboration with Curtin, has launched the Tracy Westerman Aboriginal Psychology Scholarship Program to support indigenous students in their pursuit to study psychology.

The managing director of Indigenous Psychological Services will personally donate $10,000 per year over five years to launch the new undergraduate and postgraduate program.

As the first Aboriginal person to complete a combined Master/PhD in Clinical Psychology in 2003 at Curtin, the program is close to Dr Westerman’s heart.

Dr Westerman said the program would foster the development of the next generation of clinicians committed to researching and delivering evidence-based, best practice into high-risk communities.

“As a proud Njamal woman from the Pilbara region of Western Australia, my vision is to support students with remote and rural connections through their university studies with the aim of becoming Aboriginal psychologists skilled in Indigenous-specific mental health and suicide prevention and intervention programs,” she said.

Dr Westerman invited private, corporate and government organisations to support the new scholarships by donating to the program.

Curtin University Vice-Chancellor Professor Deborah Terry said the program invested in Aboriginal education and the future wellbeing of some of the most vulnerable regional and remote communities.

For more information about the program or to donate, call Natasha Allchurch on 9266 3080 or visit indigenouspsychservices.com.au.