Santa Singh and Balwant Kaur First Nations Scholarship

This scholarship is generously funded by Pretam Kaur and is intended to provide assistance to indigenous women experiencing hardship in order to help them achieve their education goals.

Important dates

Applications for Trimester/Semester 1 2024 open 15 September 2023.

Applications for Trimester/Semester 1 2024 close 9 January 2024 at 5pm.

Scholarship offer rounds

Round 1: To be considered for these Round 1 scholarship offers you will need to submit your application and all supporting documentation by 9 January 2023 at 5pm.

We will be aiming for full allocation at this round.

Re-offer Round: To be considered for any remaining scholarships, not taken up in previous offer rounds, you will need to submit your application and all supporting documentation by 31 January 2024 at 5pm.

All scholarships will be offered within six weeks of the Re-offer round closing date.


Various options for support are available depending on course length:

  • Bachelor - $30,000 ($10,000 per year over 3 years or $7,500 per year over 4 years) or
  • Masters (16 credit points) - $20,000 ($10,000 per year over 2 years) or
  • Masters (12 credit points) - $15,000 ($5,000 per trimester over 3 trimesters) or
  • Honours or Graduate Diploma (8 credit points) - $10,000 ($5,000 per trimester over 2 trimesters) or
  • Graduate Certificate - $5000 one off payment.

Eligibility criteria

Prospective candidates should ensure they meet all criteria before submitting their application.

To be eligible you must:

  • be an Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander person
  • identify as female
  • be a commencing student enrolled full time in Trimester/Semester 1 2024 in one of the following degrees:
    • an undergraduate bachelor or honours degree
    • a graduate certificate or graduate diploma
    • a masters by coursework degree
  • be experiencing financial, personal, or medical hardship.


As a scholarship recipient, you must:

  • write an introduction statement about your goals for study and what it means to receive the scholarship
  • provide a completion statement at the conclusion of your studies
  • maintain a Weighted Average Mark (WAM) of 50 for the duration of the scholarship.

Your application

Supporting documents

As part of the application process, you will also be required to upload current supporting documentation.

When you apply for this scholarship, you'll need to supply evidence of your financial or medical hardship (if applicable).

Make sure you choose the correct document type when you upload your documents as it will make a difference. If your documents are uploaded into the incorrect type they will not be considered when assessing your application. Remember it is quality, not quantity, which you need to provide. Aim to provide documents which are current, relevant and concise.

Read more about supporting documentation

Application tips

Applying for a scholarship isn’t just about meeting the eligibility criteria.

It’s a good idea to think about why you want a scholarship, how it will help you and what you have to offer the Deakin community.

Read our 5 top tips on applying for a scholarship

How to apply

Apply directly to Deakin

You can apply for this scholarship directly to Deakin through our Scholarship Application Portal.

When applying direct to Deakin for this scholarship, select either the 'Undergraduate Scholarship Application Tri/Sem 1 2024' or the 'Postgraduate Scholarship Application Tri/Sem 1 2024' option and, if eligible, your application will automatically be considered for this scholarship.

This reduces the number of scholarships you have to apply for and increases your chances of receiving a Deakin scholarship.

Apply for this scholarship

The scholarship application process is highly competitive with a limited number of scholarships available. Unfortunately, not all eligible applicants will receive one.

What happens next?

Your application will be assessed and ranked based on the details you provide and your supporting documentation.

If you are successful, you will be contacted by the email address you nominated within your application portal account, unsuccessful applicants will not be contacted.

You'll find out if you were successful usually within six weeks of the application closing date. If you have not received an offer by this time, you have been unsuccessful. You can view the status of your application via your scholarship application portal account.

About the donor

Written in the words of our donor Pretam Kaur.

"My father Santa Singh and my mother Balwant Kaur were born in British India in Punjab.  They came to British Malaya before 1940 as illiterate, starving poor coolie labour. I was born in Malaya in 1945 when bombs were falling.  In 1951, my mother wanted to send to me to English school like my two older brothers. The Sikh community opposed my parents and shamed and ostracized them.  English schools were meant for boys; the Punjabi school was enough for girls.

My parents fought the community and sent me to English school with love and devotion, even when they had no money. In 1965, I went to university, my brothers didn’t.  My parents’ gift of education changed my life.  The story of their courage and support defined me. The scholarships for Indigenous women come from my parents to you, colonised and impoverished as they were, to connect with the oldest culture, and join with your dreaming."

Next offering period

This scholarship is yet to be confirmed for any future offering periods. Please check back at this page at a later date for any updates.