Gender equity and equitable participation by people from traditionally disadvantaged groups are ongoing and important considerations of Australia Awards Scholarships. The Australian Government works to ensure there is equal access to the Australia Awards Scholarships from both women and men and other target communities. Women, people living with disability and people living in rural areas are strongly encouraged to apply for an Australia Awards Scholarship and for other Australia Awards activities. Each year we review our support programs for people from disadvantaged groups to ensure our support is targeted, successful and sustainable.
Women: at least 50 per cent of Australia Awards Scholarships are offered to women. Many female Australia Awards alumni now hold senior positions in Timor-Leste.
People living with disability: For Study in 2019, one Scholarship will be available to an applicant with a permanent disability for study for Diploma, Advance Diploma, and Undergraduate awards (subject to the Scholarship Selection Panel identifying a suitable applicant). A suitable applicant will demonstrate the greatest potential to successfully complete their course and return home to contribute to the future development of Timor-Leste.
People with disabilities are also eligible to be awarded a Scholarship through the regular scholarship stream competing with other candidates at the postgraduate level.
For the purpose of the Australia Awards Scholarships for 2019, an applicant with disability will have a physical, sensory or cognitive limitation in interaction with their environment which severely restricts their participation. Examples might include: physical disability, blindness or vision impairment (needing glasses is not considered as a vision impairment), deafness or hearing impairment, HIV/AIDS, and cognitive disability (such as cerebral palsy).
Applicants applying under the disability eligibility criteria will be requested to provide a medical report of their disability and complete a DFAT Disability Assessment Form to assess the level of academic and pastoral adjustment required in Australia.
People living with disabilities will receive additional support to ensure they are able to participate in all phases of the Scholarships cycle including the application, selection and mobilisation processes, living and studying in Australia, and as an alumni on their return home. For example, in past year additional English language training is provided for people with disability to prepare for the IELTS test as part of the selection process.
People from rural areas: People who are living and working in rural areas are encouraged to apply so that they can return to the districts to work and contribute to future development in those areas.
Where an applicant residing outside Dili is successful in progressing to the shortlist stage of assessment, travel from the districts to and from Dili and accommodation costs to attend interviews and IELTS preparation and testing is paid by the Australia Awards Office.