DesignInc has announced its new Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander scholarship at Western Sydney University’s (WSU) faculty of architecture.

The scholarship, valued at $150,000 ($30,000 per year for five years), will be offered to an Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander student enrolled in architecture at WSU from Semester 1, 2020. It will fund their graduate and post-graduate studies, living expenses, and DesignInc will provide work experience and mentorship to assist them into the workforce. The student will receive a paid internship during their studies and a guaranteed full-time permanent job following graduation.

WSU launched its architecture program in 2019. It centres on the urban transformation of contemporary cities and preparing architects for global employment alongside technological and intellectual skills to create sustainable, resilient and well-designed environments. WSU will provide a shortlist of candidates for the scholarship, and a panel will select the recipient. At the completion of five years, DesignInc will provide a scholarship for another Indigenous student embarking on their architecture career.

“It is an honour for us to extend our support to the Indigenous community and to empower someone with the tool of education to find success,” says Sandeep Amin, DesignInc managing director.

“In turn, as architects, perhaps we will learn the ‘old ways’ of understanding the land, and how the built environment can be in harmony with the natural, or even the spiritual environment.”

In 2018, there were only eight registered architects in NSW that identify as Indigenous, and only 28 registered architects nationally according to the 2016 census.

“We hope the scholarship will not only create positive change in one person’s life, but also spur positive change in the industry,” says Tara Keast, DesignInc human resources manager.

Image credit: Western Sydney University