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Moorditj Yorga Scholarship Program

Support Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women to enter and succeed at Curtin University so they can return to their communities as strong leaders and role models.

Learn more

Moorditj yorgas, moorditj boodjastrong women, strong country

‘Moorditj yorga’ means ‘strong woman’ in the Nyungar language of Western Australia’s South West. Colloquially, it also means ‘deadly’. We’ve all been influenced by strong women in our lives – mothers, sisters, aunts, teachers, colleagues and friends.

Women are the bedrock of any community, particularly those that have long faced social and economic inequity. The Moorditj Yorga Scholarship Program will support mature-aged Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women – who may feel the promise of higher education has passed them by – to enter university, pass their studies and receive mentoring as they transition into their careers.

Together, let’s make this opportunity available to as many moorditj women as possible.

Support moorditj women

Support moorditj women

We invite you to consider supporting moorditj women by making a donation to the scholarship program.

Phone appeal

Phone appeal

Curtin students will be contacting graduates throughout September and October to discuss the scholarship and other giving opportunities from 08 9266 2727.

If you do not wish to receive a phone call, please email annualappeal@curtin.edu.au.

Thanking our supporters

Thanking our supporters

We are grateful to all of our generous supporters and donors who are helping to uplift and empower moorditj women.

The Moorditj Yorga Scholarship promise

The Moorditj Yorga Scholarship Program will provide holistic support, helping women to enter and succeed at Curtin University. Recipients will receive:

  • An annual stipend of $10,000, for a maximum duration of five years.
  • An individualised, structured mentoring program in the final year of study.
  • Support from a dedicated Moorditj Yorga Coordinator, including pastoral care to make students feel welcome, safe and connected to their cultural home (the Centre for Aboriginal Studies), and to their academic home (their School).

Jill* | 2020 Moorditj Yorga Scholarship recipient

“The past 30 years of my life has been a journey of heartache, struggle, loss and grief, but also of self-discovery, recovery, triumph and healing. Having experienced homelessness, domestic violence and drug addiction, I have now been in recovery for seven years and have worked in Aboriginal mental health for the past five years.

“These years have given me the capacity to contribute to society more than I ever could have imagined. It is always challenging to juggle full-time work, study and caring for my granddaughter. But this scholarship has given me the means to afford this course and pay my mortgage. I am blessed that I was given a second chance at life, and my course will enable me to achieve the dreams I wish to pursue in the mental health field for Aboriginal people.”

*Name changed for personal reasons

Yorgas Barloonginy by Valerie Ah Chee

Valerie Ah Chee, Yorgas Barloonginy, 2021, acrylic on canvas.

This artwork was especially commissioned for the Moorditj Yorga Scholarship Program. It represents the transference and continuity of knowledge between generations of Aboriginal women since creation.

The circle in the middle is the first gathering of the Elder matriarchs (holders of knowledge and learning) teaching the next generation of women about identity, connections, belonging and culture, and sharing their wisdom on business, country, culture, language, resilience, strength, survival, rituals, ceremonies and stories. This transference of knowledge is fluid and alive – always moving backwards, forwards, sideways and circular to ensure continuation, and represents our survival and the strength of our culture and identity. It moves between the circle and the Elders to family groups, and between communities as represented by the small circles. 

The snake is the Wagyl, creator and protector of the waterways in Nyungar culture, which is essential for life. The area within the Wagyl represents what we learn from birth – who we are, where we belong, our culture and language. The women sitting around the snake are ready to start a different journey to learning. The outer circles and pathways represent the interconnected institutions and paths that complement what we have been taught from our Elders since birth. These paths take us to places where we meet new people and learn from different communities, but they always take us and our learning back to our belonging place, where we began. These paths go into the universe and connect us to the women who came before us and sacrificed so that we, when we are ready, can fly.