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AFMW Bursary 2021 – Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Purple Bush Medicine Leaves

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Purple Bush Leaves Medicine Bursary

1. Apply Online

We offer two methods to submit an application. You can complete the application form below, or if you prefer you can download a MS Word version of the application and email the completed application to us.

Or 2. Download Application

With this option, you can download the MS Word version of the application and email to us before the due date. Instructions are in the Application form.

2021 Bursaries now awarded – See details for the 2022 Bursaries

The Australian Federation of Medical Women, as part of their commitment to reconciliation and the Makarrata Commission would like to encourage and empower a female medical graduate who identifies as Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander, to further their medical career and/or leadership aspirations. This bursary is one step in a broader goal of the AFMW – to advance the parity of representation of First Nations Peoples in the Australian medical workforce, and in its leadership. The AFMW is offering a $1000 bursary for this purpose, with the inaugural award to be announced in NAIDOC Week in July 2021. The recipient will be a woman who identifies as an Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander, is an Medical Graduate or in their final year of medicine of an Australian medical degree or course. The bursary will provide the recipient with a financial contribution to assist their attendance and/or presentation at a national or international meeting that focuses on issues related to Indigenous Medicine and Education, Women in Medicine, Ethics, Leadership and/or Governance (see suggestions below). Please apply by the 21st June 2021 to [email protected], using the attached application form that includes your personal statement.

Important Dates for the AFMW Bursary Application

  • Monday 24 May 2021 – Applications open
  • Monday 21June 2021 – Applications close
  • Monday 5 July 2021 – Applicants will be advised of the selection panel’s decision
  • NAIDOC Week 4-11 July 2021 – Formal announcement of Bursary Recipient

The Presentation of the Bursary may be held at a dinner event of the relevant State Medical Women’s Society and/or at the AFMW Face to Face meeting in November (in compliance with any Coronavirus restrictions at that time), either in person or virtually.

If you have any queries or concerns when completing this application, please do not hesitate to contact the AFMW at [email protected]  or Dr Lydia Pitcher – [email protected] , telephone 0405 441 563.

There is a check-list to assist the process at the end of the application.

Background to the Bursary

The Bursary is part of the AFMW’s Commitment to its Reconciliation Action Plan.

It has been made possible through contributions to the Purple Bush Medicine Leaves Project, initiated in 2019, on the occasion of the Centennial of the Medical Women’s International Association (MWIA), and in collaboration with Artist Louise Numina and designer Pia du Pradal. One goal of this project is to move towards parity of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander representation within the medical profession in Australia.

The Bursary will provide the recipient with financial support to attend an event to enable professional development, recognition, networking, academic advancement, and leadership opportunity. The AFMW would like to learn from their experiences, and as such, feedback after the event would be greatly appreciated but is not required

It is hoped that the recipient of the Bursary will also receive other non-financial benefits through their connection with this bursary and the AFMW, such as mentoring and engagement with the diversity of medical women and their interests within the AFMW.

Suggested meetings and conferences for which the Bursary may relevant are listed below, and include national and international meetings and events.

Eligibility Criteria

To be eligible to apply you must meet each of the Eligibility Criteria:

You are:

  • A person who identifies as a female Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander
  • A medical graduate, or medical student in the final year of an Australian medical degree or course
  • Preferably, a member of their local (State)  Medical Women’s Society
  • Intending to register and/or present at a relevant meeting, conference or event

(See examples of such events below)

Selection Criteria

The following Selection Criteria, including the Personal Statement, will be used to assess your application (Providing your Curriculum Vitae is optional in addition to this).

You can:

  • Explain your interest in the field of medicine and your career aspirations
  • Detail how the bursary will assist you in participating in professional development activities (recognising that this may be subject to change due to the impact of COVID-19 on the professional development opportunities available)
  • Accept the bursary in person or virtually at a State Medical Women’s Society dinner meeting (there are four of these annually) and/or for the AFMW (Face to Face Meeting, annually in November).

Examples of Conferences and Meetings that may be relevant

(but not exclusive) to this Bursary:

  •  Australian Indigenous Doctors’ Association (AIDA) Conference, annually
  • Leaders in Indigenous Medical Education (LIME) Biannual Connection events
  • Australian Federation of Medical Women Face to Face meeting, annually, November
  • Commission on the Status of Women, New York as AFMW Delegate and/or presenter at the AFMW Parallel event (annually in February)
  • Professional development workshops, on topics for example, including Doctor Wellbeing, Ethics, Leadership and Governance in the Medical Workforce
  • Medical Women’s International Association Meetings:
    • MWIA Triennial Conference (next 2022)
    • MWIA Regional Conference e.g. Western Pacific
    • WHO World Health Assembly, Geneva, annually in May
  • Australian Medical Students Association (AMSA) National Convention, annually

Apply For The 2021 Bursary

Apply Online (APPLICATIONS CLOSED 21 June)

Please complete the following application form to submit an application for the AFMW Bursary. Alternatively, you can download the MS Word application and email the completed application to us.

1. Secondary Studies

2. Tertiary Studies

3. Additional Work And Training

4. Other Comments

Personal Statement

This section forms a critical part of your application. Please address all criteria.   In 500 words or less, (dot point form is acceptable) please address the:
  • Eligibility criteria
  • Selection criteria.
Note: Information beyond the limit of 500 words may not be considered   We would also like to know a little about you:
  • The reason for your application, including the event you plan to attend and why
  • Your achievements in your previous studies
  • Your main interests and activities
  • Your aspirations for the future in your medical career


Please provide the name and contact details of two referees. It is important to let the referees know that they may be contacted as part of the selection process.

These referees should know you in a personal or a professional capacity or both– e.g. Dean of the Medical School, a tutor, teacher, colleague or community representative.

Application Checklist

This Checklist helps you to confirm that you have all the information needed for your Application. The Checklist does not suffice on its own as an Application. Please complete the following Checklist, then submit it along with the additional information needed to support your application for the Bursary.

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