Craig Ruddy Scholarship
Highlighting the life of an award-winning artist, the Craig Ruddy Scholarship will provide essential support for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students in Flinders University’s Northern Territory Medical Program.
Growing up with a life-threatening illness, art became Craig Ruddy’s outlet and source of inspiration. In his life and his art, recognition and appreciation of Indigenous culture were driving factors for Craig, and in 2004 he won the coveted Archibald Prize for his portrait Two Worlds depicting world-renowned Yolngu actor, David Gulpilil.
The portrait, with its message of recognition and reconciliation, is considered a crucial piece of art for the nation, and saw Craig become one of the most talked about winners in the Archibald’s history.
In appreciation of the honour of painting the iconic actor – and influenced by his own early-life medical issues – Craig wanted part proceeds from the sale of the artwork to go towards a project that would significantly contribute to improving health and education for First Nations Australians in the Northern Territory.
In January this year, Craig sadly passed away. Amidst his grief, Craig’s partner Roberto Carlos Meza Mont is honoured to enact his wishes by establishing the Craig Ruddy Scholarship at Flinders University.
The annual $5,000 scholarship, for an Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander medical student in Flinders University’s NT Medical Program, will help fund study equipment and resources, mentoring or tutoring, or any other tangible need as the student works towards their study and graduation success.
Artist Craig Ruddy with award-winning artwork, Two Worlds depicting David Gulpilil
"Many students in the program are mature age with young families and have taken a break from full time employment to study," says James Smith, Deputy Dean of Rural and Remote Health at Flinders University. "The practical financial support of a scholarship is pivotal in assisting the academic success, retention and graduation of our students, so that they can become health professionals supporting their community."
The inaugural scholarship was awarded to Flinders NT medical students Karlie James and Sarita Lawler.
“I hope to graduate and become a First Nations General Practitioner in remote areas throughout the NT," says Karlie. "My hope is to provide a culturally safe and appropriate medical service to areas that may have limited services and create continuity of care. I feel these are all important elements to help Improve health standards in our vulnerable remote populations.”
In line with Craig’s wishes, the scholarship fund is open for public contributions – with your support we can continue to reduce financial barriers for First Nations medical students in the NT, so that they can focus on their studies and work towards the improving health outcomes in the community.
100% of your donation to the Craig Ruddy Scholarship will support Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students in the Flinders NT Medical Program.
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