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The Puggy Hunter Memorial Scholarship Scheme, which has assisted thousands of Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander people studying an entry level health course, will be run by an Indigenous led organisation for the first time.

Minister for Health and aged care the Hon Mark Butler MP made the announcement at the National Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisation (NACCHO) conference in Canberra this week.

Minister Butler said the Government was committed to working with NACCHO and all other Indigenous organisations to deliver on their election commitments. This included a transition plan for the Puggy Hunter scholarship to be instigated by an Indigenous organisation in the future.

“After all Puggy was the first chair of NACCHO so it’s obviously the first place to start,” he said.

The Australian Government established the award to tribute the late Arnold ‘Puggy’ Hunter for his outstanding contribution to Indigenous health.

The scholarship scheme, which has been running since 2002, assists undergraduate students in health-related disciplines to complete their studies and join the health workforce.

The scholarship awardees receive up to $15,000 per year and part time recipients will receive up to $7,500 per year.