The aim of this scholarship scheme is to encourage Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students to undertake undergraduate or graduate entry studies in pharmacy at an Australian university.

The Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Pharmacy Scholarship Scheme (ATSIPSS) aims to address the health needs of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community and the workforce needs of the pharmacy profession by encouraging Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people to choose a career in pharmacy. The Scheme supports students who identify as Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander in their decision to undertake tertiary study in the field of pharmacy.

To be eligible to apply for the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Pharmacy Scholarship Scheme, students must be:

  • An Australian citizen or permanent resident
  • Of Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander descent
  • Enrolled (or accepted for enrolment) as a full-time student at an Australian university in an undergraduate or graduate degree that leads to a registrable qualification as a Pharmacist
  • A member of their university’s student Rural Health Club or the university’s affiliated Rural Health Club
  • Not currently in receipt of a scholarship under the Rural Pharmacy Scholarship Scheme.

Preference will be given to students who are residents of a rural or remote location; however, this is not a mandatory requirement to apply for the Scheme. Scholarships are available to students in any year of their approved undergraduate or graduate degree. Note: Study at an honours level that extends the time of study beyond the standard degree is not covered by the Scheme.

Scholarships will be paid to full-time students only. Scholarship holders are required to advise the Pharmacy Programs Administrator in writing of any change in enrolment which may drop them below full-time status.

Scholarship holders are also required to meet the academic requirements in order to continue receiving payments. This means that scholarship holders who fail to meet the academic requirements of their course but are permitted by their university to continue their study will have their scholarship suspended until such time that they provide evidence that they successfully re-completed the failed courses. Scholarship holders who fail to meet the academic requirements of the course and are excluded from further study will have their scholarship cancelled.

For further details, refer to section 8 of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Pharmacy Scholarship Scheme Program Rules.

Annually, scholarship recipients will be required to provide documents to demonstrate ongoing eligibility. These will be split into ‘Beginning of Year’ deliverables and ‘End of Year’ deliverables. Refer to the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Pharmacy Scholarship Scheme Program Rules for further details. Involvement in the Rural Pharmacy Scholarship Mentor Scheme is compulsory for all scholarship recipients. In addition to scholarship recipients submitting their ‘End of Year’ deliverables, mentors must also submit a Mentor Report through the Pharmacy Programs Administrator Portal in order for the scholarship recipient’s final annual payment to be made.  Refer to the Rural Pharmacy Scholarship Mentor Scheme Program Rules for further details. 

At least three scholarships are offered each year, with a value of $15,000 (GST exempt) per student, per year. Successful applicants will receive the scholarship for a maximum of four years or until the end of their course of study, whichever is shorter. Scholarship holders may be granted a maximum of $60,000 over a four-year period. Scholarship recipients receive a total of 10 payments per year, paid in monthly instalments via direct Electronic Funds Transfer (EFT) to their nominated financial institution. For each year of the scholarship, payments will be made in the following schedule:

Payment Number (Each Year) Payment Date Requirements
1st Payment February Scholarship recipients must submit the required ‘Beginning of Year’ Deliverables. Payment will occur after this information has been received and approved, and may be delayed in the instance of late submission.
2nd – 9th Payments Monthly from March to October Nil.
10th Payment November Scholarship recipient must submit the required ‘End of Year’ Deliverables. Payment will occur after this information has been received and approved, and may be delayed in the instance of late submission.

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Pharmacy Scholarship Scheme FAQ

  1. The Scholarship Annual Round opens from November until late January each year. Please visit the Pharmacy Programs Administrator website around late October for communication about when the Annual Round will open and how to apply.

    Applicants must submit an official electronic Application Form in order to be considered for a scholarship. Incomplete applications will not be assessed.

    The Program Rules, available from the Downloads section of this page, have guidance on how to fill in the application form.

  2. Applications received during the initial Annual Round will be ranked according to rural experience (based on historic home addresses and rural primary school attendance if applicable) and Conditional Scholarships will be offered to the highest ranked eligible applicants.

    If any scholarships remain, the annual round will remain open and applications can be submitted throughout the year.

    Please be aware, however, that once all scholarships are allocated, the Pharmacy Programs Administrator will communicate this on their website and no further scholarships will be offered through the year.

  3. To be eligible to apply students must:

    – Be an Australian citizen or permanent resident
    – Be of Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander descent
    – Be enrolled or about to be enrolled as a full time student in a Pharmacy undergraduate or graduate degree at an Australian university that leads to a registrable qualification as a Pharmacist.
    – Be a member of, or intending to join the student Rural Health Club or the university’s affiliated Rural Health Club.

    No scholarship payments will be made to you until you provide evidence of enrolment and evidence of joining a Rural Health Club. While not mandatory, preference will be given to students who have resided in a rural area for at least five consecutive, or eight cumulative, years since the age of five. See Program Rules for further details of requirements.

  4. No, you are still eligible to apply even if you have not lived in a rural or remote area; however, scholarships will be offered preferentially to Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander students who currently live, or have lived, in a rural or remote community.

  5. From 1 July 2021, ‘Rural’ is defined as any location with a MM classification of 3-7. Further information on MM locations can be found here.

  6. Yes, even if you fail to meet academic requirements but the university allows you to carry on studying, your payments will be suspended until you can prove you have met the academic requirements of the course. If you fail to meet the requirements of the course and are excluded from further study, then your scholarship will be cancelled.

  7. No, students need to be studying full-time. If you change from full time to part time study, you need to inform the Pharmacy Programs Administrator as soon as possible to ensure the funding is stopped. Failure to provide this information will result in any erroneous payments made being recovered from you.

  8. No, offers can be declined. If you decline the offer the scholarship will be offered to the next applicant who hasn’t received an offer yet.

  9. If an offer is made to you, you will need to provide evidence to support the information provided in your application. Please see the Program Rules for guidance on how to complete the Application Form and the documentation you will be required to provide. Failure to provide these documents, or provision of different information from your application, will result in the offer being rescinded and an offer being made to the next applicant who hasn’t received an offer yet.

  10. Graduate students can apply; however, funding is only available for a maximum length of two years for graduate studies. There is no limit to the number of graduate scholarships that can make up the scholarship offers each year.

  11. No, you can apply at any time throughout your studies. Funding is available for up to four years but can be less.

  12. No, students can only be a recipient of either the RPSS or ATSIPSS, not both.

  13. At least three scholarships are offered each year. For undergraduate studies, funding is available to scholarship holders for up to four years. For graduate studies, funding is available to scholarship holders for up to two years. Funding per year, per scholarship holder is $15,000. Therefore, scholars undertaking undergraduate studies for four years may be eligible to be paid $60,000 over the course of their study. Scholars are paid in monthly instalments of $1,500 for 10 months of each funded year.

  14. Yes, if the campus you attend has no Rural Health Club you must join or intend to join the nearest affiliated Rural Health Club. No scholarship payments will be made to you until you provide evidence of joining a Rural Health Club.

    Please contact the PPA Scholarships team on 1800 951 285 if you require further assistance regarding your closest Rural Health Club.

  15. Yes, assuming you meet the eligibility requirements you can apply again.

    Scholarships are awarded based on the applications received that year. Not receiving a Conditional Scholarship offer one year does not mean you will not in subsequent years.

  16. Please speak to Centrelink to discuss this.

  17. Yes, scholarships can be deferred for one academic year. If you defer from university for more than one academic year the scholarship will be withdrawn. You may not defer in the year you are awarded the scholarship and deferring during this time will result in the scholarship being withdrawn.

  18. No, assuming you still meet the eligibility rules of the Program you do not have to apply each year. However, you will be expected to provide confirmation of your continuing eligibility for the Program. A full list of what is required each year can be found in the Program Rules.  

  19. No, you will not be required to return any funds paid to you prior to withdrawing, as long as you notify us in writing within seven days if you withdraw, defer, are excluded from your pharmacy course, or cease to study pharmacy full-time.

    Failure to provide this information before any further payments are made will result in these payments being recovered from you.

  20. Yes, participating in the Rural Pharmacy Scholarship Mentor Scheme (RPSMS) is a requirement for all scholarship holders.

  21. Please see the Mentor Scheme Program Rules for further details on mentor eligibility but a mentor should be:

    – An Australian citizen or permanent resident
    – A practising Pharmacist
    – Practising in a rural area.

  22. You should inform the Pharmacy Programs Administrator of any changes to your mentoring arrangement.

    You should then nominate a new mentor within 14 days of informing the Pharmacy Programs Administrator of the change. Once you have chosen a new mentor, you will need to contact the Pharmacy Programs Administrator to let them know your new mentor’s details.

  23. No. Ideally, you should endeavour to conduct at least one face-to-face meeting with your mentor each academic year; however, it is recognised that there may be circumstances where distance may preclude face-to-face contact.

  24. No, your mentor will need to register and submit the Mentor Report via the Pharmacy Programs Administrator Portal. You do not need to upload this.  The Mentor Report (in addition to the other End of Year scholarship requirements) must be received and approved by the Pharmacy Programs Administrator prior to your final payment of the year being paid. The Rural Pharmacy Scholarship Mentor Scheme Program Rules asks the mentor to upload this in November; however, you may need to confirm with your mentor that they have submitted this for you.

MODIFIED MONASH MODEL (MMM) FAQ

  1. The MMM is a geographical classification that categorises different areas in Australia into seven remoteness categories. It was developed to better target health workforce programs to attract health professionals to more remote and smaller communities. The MMM classifies metropolitan, regional, rural, and remote areas according to geographical remoteness, as defined by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS), and town size.

    For further information, please refer to the MMM factsheet at https://www.health.gov.au/resources/publications/modified-monash-model-fact-sheet

  2. In 2015, the Department of Health introduced the MMM classification system as it better targets health workforce programs by categorising metropolitan, regional, rural, and remote areas according to both geographical remoteness, as defined by the Australian Bureau of Statistics, and town size.

    The Department of Health began transitioning Commonwealth health programs to the new MMM classification system from 1 January 2020.

    The decision to adopt the use of the MMM for the ATSIPSS from 1 July 2021, to ensure greater support for regional, rural, and remote pharmacies was made as part of the Seventh Community Pharmacy Agreement (Seventh Agreement) between the Australian Government, the Pharmacy Guild of Australia (the Guild) and the Pharmaceutical Society of Australia (PSA).

    Further information on the MMM rural classification system can be found here: https://www.health.gov.au/sites/default/files/documents/2019/12/modified-monash-model—fact-sheet.pdf .

  3. MM categories can be viewed on the Australian Government’s Health Workforce Locator website: https://www.health.gov.au/resources/apps-and-tools/health-workforce-locator/health-workforce-locator. 

    Click on the MMM 2019 tickbox in the Classification Filter, type in your address and click Search Location.  Your MM category will be displayed underneath your address and also on the map.

  4. Existing Scholarships approved prior to 1 July 2021, under eligible PhARIA classifications will continue to be upheld.

    Please contact the PPA Scholarships team on 1800 951 285 if you have further queries.

  5. Existing Mentor relationships approved under eligible PhARIA classifications will continue to be upheld. Any changes to Mentors from 1 July 2021 will result in the new Mentor being assessed under the MMM.

    Please note that due to the transition to the MMM, the PhARIA website will be turned off in July 2021. The PPA therefore advises that Scholars and Mentors ensure all new Mentor registrations for the 2021 academic year are completed on the PPA Portal prior to the MMM transition.

    Please contact the PPA Scholarships team on 1800 951 285 if you have further queries.

  6. No. Your historical addresses provided in your scholarship application will be assessed based on the current MM categories in place at the time of assessment. A location’s MM category cannot be changed.

  7. MM categories are based on the Australian Statistical Geography Standard – Remoteness Areas framework and applies additional modifiers to the inner and outer regional categories based on the road distance to population centres of between 50,000 and 5,000.

    Unlike the previously used Pharmacy Accessibility/Remoteness Index of Australia (PhARIA) rural classification system, the MMM does not take into account the location or number of pharmacies in its calculation. It also does not factor in boundaries of a town, like PhARIA did. The MMM is instead based purely on the road distance from an individual street address to the nearest service centre(s). This is a significant shift in how rural areas are classified for the pharmacy sector.

    It is important to note that MMM is not based on population size alone. Whilst there may be other towns with a similar or greater population which are allocated to an equal or greater rural MM category, the distance to the nearest populous service centres of these towns is significantly further away. It is this distance which determines the allocated MM category.

  8. The MMM is updated after each Census. The 2015 MMM was derived from 2011 ABS Census data.

    The current MMM was updated in 2019 using 2016 ABS Census data and geography information.

    The next ABS Census is in August 2021. The MMM will therefore be updated sometime after the 2021 Census. A specific date cannot be provided at this stage.

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Pharmacy Scholarship Scheme Resources