History of the Pallottine Aboriginal Scholarship Trust

The Pallottines came to Australia in 1901 specifically to work with Aboriginal people. At this time, the Pallottine Centre in Rossmoyne (a Perth suburb) was opened. This was a hostel where Aboriginal people lived whilst studying at various secondary and post secondary educational establishments in Perth.

In the 1990's, when the Pallottines could no longer staff a hostel for Aboriginal secondary students at Rossmoyne and the need for such a facility was no longer pressing, the Pallottines sold some of the land on which this facility was built. $1,200,000 came from the sale of land. Though the land was bought with their own resources, the Pallottines wished to continue their work with indigenous people in a collaborative manner. They wished to encourage positive interaction between indigenous and non-indigenous people. A substantial amount of the money obtained from the sale of the land was put towards a scholarship scheme.

A legal document was drawn up to cover the operation of the scholarship project. This document was drawn up in such a way that people who wished to contribute to the fund would receive tax concessions.

The committee at the time wrote letters to individuals and organisations that had some interest in the Pallottine Centre and the outreach to the Aboriginal community. As result of this appeal, a further $51,400 was added to the fund by way of donations by organisations and individuals.

The Regional Council of the Pallottines still administer the fund today. They decide where the money can be safely invested and yet maximise returns. Scholarships are funded from the annual interest earned, thereby preserving the capital value of the fund. The annual interest is allocated to the scholarship trust for the payment of tuition fees of Aboriginal people engaged in post secondary studies.

In the first year of operation $33,000 was allocated. The numbers of applicants and the amount of monies distributed has grown significantly since it's inception.

The Pallottine Regional Council appoints six people who form the Pallottine Aboriginal Scholarship Trust Committee. This committee determines the successful applicants. Three of the committee are Aboriginal people with background in various area of the state and three are Pallottines who have had years of experience in working with Aboriginal people. In choosing the three Aboriginal people the Council endeavours to balance gender and regional representation. The committee is appointed for a three year period.