BHP adds $10m to Australian indigenous scholarship program

BHP Billiton has committed an additional $10 million to a scholarship program for indigenous students in Australia, bringing its total contribution to the program to over $16 million.

The Australian Indigenous Education Foundation (AIEF) was established three years ago to provide secondary and tertiary scholarships. Under the current arrangement, 185 total scholarships will be granted over the next decade.

The tertiary program encourages indigenous students living anywhere in Australia to apply for degrees in mining-related disciplines at Australian universities. Students who receive secondary scholarships are provided with room and board at private schools in Perth.

“Not only does the scholarship recipient benefit, they also become role models to other young people in their communities, who can then follow in their footsteps. This ripple effect is very powerful and something that we’re incredibly proud to be associated with," said BHP Billiton Iron Ore President Jimmy Wilson in a recent company news release.

“Over the past five financial years, we have committed more than A$55 million in education initiatives through the BHP Billiton Community Development Program.”