The call has gone out for applicants to be the 2018 Sir Robert Menzies Indigenous Mentoring Fellow at the Melbourne Indigenous Transition School (MITS).

The Fellowship, which started this year, is a partnership between the Menzies Foundation and MITS.

Each year, 22 Indigenous boys and girls around Year Seven age come to learn and live at MITS (in the Melbourne suburb of Richmond), to undertake a one year transition program designed to support them through the academic, cultural, social and emotional challenges of schooling away from home.

Each year, one young Indigenous leader will receive the Menzies Indigenous Mentoring Fellowship, enabling them to provide essential mentoring, peer support, and cultural connection to MITS students on a regular basis throughout the school year, whilst undertaking their own study.

Fellowship recipients will further develop as leaders and improve themselves through education and governance training. At the same time, they will support the growth of other future leaders – MITS students – through shared pathways and experiences, positive role modelling and the embrace and support of Indigenous culture and identity.

The recipient of this Fellowship will help create catalytic change for some of Australia’s most deserving students and their communities.

Inaugural Menzies Indigenous Mentoring Fellow, Michelle Kerrin, has set an amazing standard and is encouraging applicants to take on the challenge for next year.

A Melbourne University student, and a proud Arrernte and Luritja woman from Darwin, Michelle embraced the opportunity of the mentoring fellowship, which not only allowed her to add to her experience in guiding and helping young Indigenous people at MITS, but it also took her around Australia and to Canada for conferences and to meet other important influencers.

University students based in Melbourne (or planning to study in Melbourne in 2018) with a genuine interest in fostering Indigenous culture and identity and providing mentoring support to young people are encourage to apply for the Fellowship.

For a comprehensive information booklet and application form, please visit the MITS website:

Applications close on Friday 3 November 2017.

The Fellowship is valued at $20,000 for one year, with leadership and development opportunities for the Fellow greatly encouraged.

For more on the thoughts of inaugural Fellow, Michelle Kerrin, take a look at the stories about her achievements during the year and her thoughts on initially being awarded the Fellowship.

Pictured – Michelle Kerrin (far right) at Parliament House in Canberra with Malarndirri McCarthy (Senator for NT, second female Indigenous Senator to be elected to Federal Parliament and MITS Board Member) and two MITS students, Jody and Alayla.