The Fund

Our Story

In 1996, the Australian College of Midwives (ACM) established a scholarship fund for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women who wished to study to become midwives. In 2009, the Trust was named ‘The Rhodanthe Lipsett Indigenous Midwifery Trust ‘ in honour of the midwifery elder and longstanding ACM member, whose idea it first was to create such a trust. In late 2011 the Trust was established as a separate entity, Incorporated and subsequently registered with the Australian Tax Office as a Charitable Fund.

With less than 100 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander midwives registered in Australia it is clear that more must be done. It is well known that many students find it challenging to complete their studies. Meeting additional expenses – such as childcare, travel to university, fees and textbooks when studying and being far from home and family – is known to affect retention of students. The scholarships from this fund will go towards some of the costs incurred when undertaking studies, which may not be covered by other funding options.

The Fund will disperse these grants and scholarships from funds derived from capital accrued funds as well as specific donations in the form of supplemental grants and bursaries to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women wanting to become midwives.

Our Aim

Our aim is to contribute to the Australian Government’s initiative: Closing the Gap, by providing assistance to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people who are training to be midwives, in order to increase their chances of completing their training.

Our Goals

  • To increase the number of qualified Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander midwives.
  • To increase the number of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people working as midwives within rural, remote and urban communities.
  • To provide Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people considering a career in midwifery with incentives in the form of financial support to help them in achieving their goal to become a midwife.
  • To strengthen families and communities by increasing the quality and cultural appropriateness of maternal and newborn health care provided to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women.

Our Logo

What does it mean?Rhodanthe Logo - Transparent Background - no font

The Fund is indebted to Board member and midwife Leona McGrath who designed the painting of our logo.

The painting is a real representation of what the scholarship fund is all about.

  • The centre circle (purple circle) is the fund offering support through the scholarships
  • The purple dots are Aboriginal women wanting to do midwifery.
  • The darker purple circle with the blue dots on it is the woman’s family and support network.
  • The white dots following out are the Aboriginal midwifery student’s journey through their studies.
  • The larger purple dots on the outside are the Aboriginal midwives working and caring for women and families.

Leona McGrath, 2012


If you would like a copy of our Constitition click on the ``download`` button below.