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06 Jun 2017

A medical scholarship that has helped more than 20 Indigenous students become doctors is now open to tax-deductible donations.

As the end of the financial year is fast approaching, the AMA is encouraging people and organisations to consider donating towards the AMA Indigenous Medical Scholarship.

Past recipients include Associate Professor Kelvin Kong, Australia’s first Aboriginal surgeon, and Professor Alex Brown, the Deputy Director and Program Leader of Aboriginal Research at the South Australian Health and Medical Research Institute.

“This scholarship was established in 1994 with a contribution from the Commonwealth Government,” AMA President, Dr Michael Gannon, said today.

“We know that having a highly skilled Indigenous medical workforce plays an important part in improving health outcomes for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. Having an Indigenous doctor at a clinic can often make the difference between a community member turning up for their appointments and never visiting the clinic at all.”

In 2017, there are just 281 medical practitioners employed in Australia as Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander, representing 0.3 per cent of the workforce, and 286 Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander students are enrolled at Australian medical colleges.

“Each year, the AMA offers one Scholarship to an Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander student studying medicine at an Australian university. Over recent years, demand has grown, and we anticipate this to increase in future years,” Dr Gannon said. 

“With the help of tax-deductible donations, we can increase the number of Scholarships offered each year and help increase the Indigenous medical workforce.”

Studying for a medical degree costs between $10,440 and $15,000 per year, with students typically undertaking four to six years of study. The Scholarship provides the winner with $10,000 a year for each year of study.

The 2017 winner, James Chapman, was announced last month.

For enquiries please contact the AMA at or (02) 6270 5400, or at

The AMA would like to acknowledge the contributions of the following donors:

Reuben Pelerman Benevolent Foundation;

The late Beryl Jamieson’s wishes for donations towards the AMA Indigenous Medical Scholarship; and

The Anna Wearne Fund.

6 June 2017

CONTACT: John Flannery                            02 6270 5477 / 0419 494 761
                   Maria Hawthorne                        02 6270 5478 / 0427 209 753

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Published: 06 Jun 2017