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Scotch College Indigenous Program

For the last 20 years, the Scotch College Indigenous Program has offered all Scotch boys the opportunity to experience and understand our country’s indigenous culture, as part of a contemporary Australian education.


The program has three components:

  1. our commitment to offer indigenous boys full academic and boarding scholarships
  2. the Indigenous Partnership Program, which teaches Scotch boys about indigenous culture through projects with local communities and
  3. our longstanding partnership with Tiwi College, built on friendship and respect.

Scotch College Indigenous Scholarship Program

The Scotch College Indigenous Program aims to embed indigenous and non-indigenous students, staff and the broader school community in the foundational belief that education is both the key and hope for the future of indigenous Australians.

Our Indigenous Scholarship Program ensures that, during the most influential years of their lives, some 1880 Scotch boys have opportunity to learn from, and develop friendships with, indigenous students.

In the last 10 years, 12 indigenous students have successfully completed Year 12 and have enriched the School’s social, academic, sporting and other co-curricular activities and programs.

Students in the program are drawn from communities across the nation. The fundamental selection criteria are resilience, including a desire to complete Year 12, and the potential to flourish in a school such as Scotch.

At Scotch they develop the skills and the confidence to walk in both worlds of contemporary Australia. Scotch takes an innovative approach to community partnerships, academic support and mentorship. Fundamental to this is the support, encouragement and mentoring the boys receive from Scotch staff.

We work closely with indigenous community leaders to identify boys who have the capacity and family support, not only to survive at Scotch, but to thrive. These students are usually active in their communities.

We measure our success not only by completion rates, but also by the positive choices that our graduates have made in their lives beyond Scotch. By having access to a Scotch education, boys taking part in the program can become role models in their own communities.

With the support of the Scotch Family, we are seeking to establish a perpetual Indigenous Scholarship Fund, ensuring that this successful and inspiring programme continues to enrich our school culture, and creates a lasting impact.


Download Indigenous Scholarship Program Booklet

Download Indigenous Scholarship Fund Donation Form

Applying for an Indigenous Scholarship

Families interested in being considered for an Indigenous Scholarship for entry into Year 9 or Year 10 should send expressions of interest to Dr Robert Smith, Head of Indigenous Programme, robert.smith@scotch.vic.edu.au.

Expressions of Interest should include the following information:

  • Most recent school reports
  • NAPLAN results from Year 7 and Year 9 (if relevant)
  • A statement from parent(s)/guardian indicating why they would like their child to be considered for a place
  • A reference from a teacher at his current school
  • A personal reference (not from a relative)
  • Statement from an indigenous elder/senior community member indicating that the applicant is a member of that community
  • After consideration of the above criteria, some boys may be invited to numeracy and literacy testing and a meeting with the Head of Indigenous Program. Successful applicants from this stage will be interviewed by the Principal. A final decision will be based on a combination of all these factors.
  • Applications close end of August of the year prior to entry
  • Note that Boarding places are offered for entry to Years 9 or Year 10.

Scotch Indigenous Partnership Program

The Indigenous Partnership Program (IPP) is one of the most popular service activities offered at Scotch College. It is open to boys in Years 10, 11 and 12.

In the program, boys have the opportunity to:

learn about Aboriginal culture and the issues facing indigenous Australians

make meaningful connections with local indigenous communities, and share their learning with others in the School community and beyond; and

strengthen connections between Scotch and Tiwi College

The program offers an immersive, participatory learning experience – we often host guest speakers, or meet with elders and educators from the local indigenous community. IPP students have priority in attending the annual Garma Festival trip to East Arnhem Land, and trips to Tiwi College.

Tiwi College Partnership

Scotch’s relationship with Tiwi College began with a football match played on Melville Island in 1996, and has grown to become a valued collaboration between the two schools. It has led to the establishment of genuine, deep-rooted and ongoing friendships between Scotch boys and their Tiwi peers, as well as among educators at both schools. This regular contact has had a strong, positive impact on the Scotch Family’s understanding of indigenous Australia.

Located at Pickataramoor on Melville Island, Tiwi College is an exciting and dynamic secondary boarding school, initiated and governed by the Tiwi people to provide quality education for young Tiwi people. The College is owned and managed by the Tiwi people through the Tiwi Education Board, which comprises senior men and women from all Tiwi communities.

Tiwi College is a weekly boarding facility where students are accommodated in Family Group Homes. The College caters for holistic learning; helping young Tiwi people become ‘work ready’.

Boys from Tiwi College visit Scotch College for football trips and longer exchanges, billeting with Scotch families and forming genuine, lasting friendships. This experience provides wonderful opportunity for selected boys from the islands to visit Melbourne and experience non-Tiwi culture and education, and occurs thanks to the generosity of current Scotch families.

Scotch boys are welcomed into the life of the Tiwi Islands, both on football tours and cultural exchanges. Boys who have visited the Tiwi Islands describe the experience as truly life-changing, helping them to develop a deeper understanding of Australia’s history, and the potential for our shared future.

We provide educational support for Tiwi College through staff exchanges, training and ongoing interaction between staff at both schools.

At its heart, our partnership with Tiwi College is about supporting the Tiwi Elders in what they know is an essential element in the lives of their young people – a quality education.

Visit the Tiwi College website