EDUCATION, Sponsored -

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders inform policy through scholarship

SPONSORED: “When the Pat Turner scholarship came along, it was sort of like the universe lined up,” said Sir Roland Wilson Foundation Pat Turner scholar Craig Leon, a proud Worimi man of New South Wales.

Leon was looking for an opportunity to take his career to the next level and make changes to improve cultural competency in the Australian Public Service. He found it through a Sir Roland Wilson Foundation Pat Turner scholarship.

Leon is completing a PhD at the Australian National University on a Pat Turner scholarship.

His PhD is examining unconscious bias in the Australian Public Service to understand implications for the recruitment and retention of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander employees.

Through his research, Leon says he hopes to develop an evidence-base for employment strategies in the public service.

“What I do hope to achieve is change in how the public service recruits, retains and develops Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander employees so they have a long, sustained and rewarding career.”

“I really hope that not only existing employees will have a more engaged and productive career, but that more Indigenous Australians will be attracted to the public service, knowing the public service is truly a more culturally competent organisation,” Leon said.

The Sir Roland Wilson Foundation provides scholarships to Australian public servants to complete postgraduate research on topics of national and global significance.

The Foundation is currently seeking applications for the 2021 Sir Roland Wilson Pat Turner scholarship. Established in 2019, the Pat Turner scholarship is named after Foundation Patron and CEO of the National Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisation, Pat Turner AM.

The scholarship is open to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australian public servants. Scholars complete a postgraduate qualification, from a Graduate Certificate to a PhD, through either the Australian National University or Charles Darwin University.

Leon encourages any interested public servants to apply for the 2021 scholarship.

“Go for it. One hundred percent … just really go for it,” Leon said.

“My journey so far has been full of opportunity. Not only have I grown academically, but I have also gained great insight into how my own research can be positioned to hopefully leave a lasting legacy in the Australian Public Service.”

Sir Roland Wilson Foundation Pat Turner scholarship applications are open until 15 May, 2020. To view the eligibility criteria and find out more, go to or email

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