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Are you Aboriginal? Good, have $5,000

Padders over at The Right Aussie has stumbled upon what is quite clearly a case of racism favouring Aborigines [1] from The Pharmacy Guild of Australia and our beloved federal government.

Today whilst reading the Western Magazine, a weekly publication inserted into regional newspapers, I made a cursory glance over two advertisements covering the full right hand side of page nine
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The ad at the top of the page was offering three scholarships to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders, valued at $15,000 each (to a maximum value of $60,000); and the ad below it – obviously applicable to everyone else – offered 30 scholarships at $10,000 each (to a maximum value of $40,000).
[..]
But it doesn’t stop there.

I quote a portion of the text from the first ad (for Aboriginal and Torres Straight Islanders):

Students interested in studying pharmacy at university need to have an interest in health, communication and science.

And from the other ad (for everyone else):

Students interested in studying pharmacy at university need to achieve high marks in English, Mathematics and Chemistry.

So, one can only draw the conclusion that not only will Aboriginal and Torres Straight Islanders get an extra five grand per year for doing the same course, but it is hard not to infer that the matriculation requirements are not as rigorous as those for non-Aboriginals.

The full ads are visible at the above linked page.

So when will this nonsense end? Why do we need to single out Aborigines for special treatment here? Would it be too much to ask to expect them to compete with everyone else for the scholarships on a level playing ground?

Clearly this is aimed at the supposedly lesser-educated Aborigines, and is designed to give them a better chance at making something of their lives. It doesn’t make any sense though because if I, as a non-Aborigine, chose to drop out of high school and then wanted to study pharmacy, I would have to do the bridging courses of my own volition…I wouldn’t get an extra handout to assist me or motivate me, my motivation would be the chance to reach my goal. If an Aboriginal person can’t be motivated to do bridging courses and then apply for a scholarship on the grounds of eventually reaching their goal, then why should we be paying them an extra five thousand dollars and set aside places for them, when truly motivated people could take those spots for less money?

The bottom line is that we shouldn’t…but try and tell that to Kevin “Sorry” Rudd.

Samuel