Birthing on Country Scholarship

The Faculty of Health aims to support two enthusiastic Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander Bachelor of Midwifery graduates for an honours program exploring Birthing on Country (BoC) or midwifery education and confidence in providing smoking cessation information for Indigenous women in rural/remote settings.

The degree will align with the Birthing on Country/iSISTAQUIT grant received from the Department of Health and Aged Care. The positions will be based in either of Southern Cross University’s Gold Coast or Coffs Harbour campuses.

First Nations’ women and babies in Australia experience ongoing inequities.

Australia has one of the best health systems in the world; however, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander (First Nations) women and babies face substantially worse pregnancy outcomes than non-Indigenous women and babies. First Nations women are three times more likely to die in childbirth than non-Indigenous women, and their babies are almost twice as likely to die in their first year of life, with significant numbers of preterm birth and low-birthweight babies associated with increased morbidity and mortality. The statistics are even worse for women living in the Northern Territory.

A series of initiatives are now underway to reverse these trends, based on Birthing on Country, a movement rooted in social justice, which aims to put childbirth services under the control of First Nations communities.

For an informed discussion, contact:

Lisa Charmer Associate Professor Lyn Ebert
Midwifery Lecturer, Bachelor of Midwifery
Phone: 07 5589 3462
Midwifery Work Integrated Learning Academic Coordinator
Phone: 02 6659 3619 or 0427 32 000

Number available


Course of study

Bachelor of Health and Human Sciences (Honours)

and be a Bachelor-level Midwifery graduate
woman holding baby

Scholarship details

Follow the link below to access the application form. Applications close on 1 February 2024.

Apply now

  1. Applicants must identify as an Aboriginal person and/or Torres Strait Islander person.
  2. Applicants must meet the entry requirements to enrol in the Bachelor of Health and Human Sciences (Honours) program full-time at Southern Cross University in Term 1, 2024.
  3. Be a recent graduate from an SCU or other university Bachelor of Midwifery degree within the last five years.
  4. Applicants must be willing to be based at either the Gold Coast or Coffs Harbour campus.
  5. Applicants must also be committed to travel and engage with rural/remote communities.

Applications will be assessed on the strength of their responses to the following questions:

  • Demonstrate understanding of Birthing on Country and your motivation to engage with rural/remote communities (150 words)
  • Demonstrate provision of culturally appropriate woman-centred care (125 words)
  • Demonstrate understanding of the benefits of smoke-free and vape-free pregnancy (125 words)

iSISTAQUIT is a wrap-around support for pregnant Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women who are wanting to quit smoking.

It involves a model of care designed with culturally appropriate and national best practice training informed from previous studies. iSISTAQUIT provides vital training for health professionals and encouragement to communities and pregnant women to quit smoking.

Having culturally thought-out approaches with assisting women to quit smoking through a pathway of support, helps Indigenous women navigate health and wellbeing systems safely.

Visit the iSISTAQUIT website

Need more information? Please contact the Scholarship Office

Phone and email In person
Scholarships Campus locations
T: 1800 005 687
Gold Coast
Coffs Harbour