ABSTUDY continues to help
In the 1990s, the government used posters with simple text to promote ABSTUDY, suggesting it was a well-known program by this time.
The Department of Employment, Education and Training (DEET) made these posters in the early 1990s to promote ABSTUDY payments. Introduced in 1969, ABSTUDY helps Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students continue to study.
The posters use Aboriginal artwork to create eye-catching designs. The use of colour and simple text aims to generate enthusiasm for continuing study. The ‘Returning to learning’ poster is aimed at people who left school early or hadn’t had the chance to return to study.
Other posters in this series included photographs of Aboriginal people of various ages studying. One such poster advertised the Aboriginal Tutorial Assistance Scheme, a program that provided tutoring for Aboriginal students in higher education.
However, unlike previous posters that credited the artists used for their artworks, these posters don’t include information about the artist.
Research had found that ABSTUDY was a ‘major factor’ in increasing Aboriginal people’s participation in higher education (Williams and Chambers in Anning 2000:26). Between 1988 and 1996, the government expanded the program to cover more courses, especially at the tertiary level (Schwab and Campbell 1997).
AIATSIS holds the original poster series in their collection and supplied the digitised versions included here.
Department of Employment, Education and Training (1993) It’s your future: go for it! ABSTUDY: financial assistance for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders [poster], Australian Government, Canberra.
Department of Employment, Education and Training (1993) Returning to learning: ABSTUDY [poster], Australian Government, Canberra.