Yaitya Purruna

The Yaitya Purruna Indigenous Health Unit provides a wide range of support services to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students and staff in the Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences.

Ethical ways of engaging

The staff of Yaitya Purruna Indigenous Health Unit, in the Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences, acknowledge the place from which we provide our services, is located on Kaurna Country.

Three students sitting at a desk with a laptop

We pay our deep respect to the Kaurna People and Ancestors, past and present, for this privilege. We also acknowledge that their connection to country and the grounds on which the University is embedded, is as significant today to the Kaurna People as it has been in the past. With this understanding and grounding, we value Aboriginal community engagement as a core part of our business and seek to support projects that contribute to the health and wellbeing of Aboriginal People in empowering and sustainable ways. We understand that these types of approaches require strong and trusting relationships that take time to foster and develop. We welcome partnerships with communities, agencies, services and government bodies that hold the same values and who seek similar outcomes.

Yaitya Purruna offers the opportunity to develop friendships and study networks with fellow Indigenous medical students and those studying in the various health sciences disciplines.Claudia Paul, Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery


We’d be delighted to help you on your way too

Are you an Indigenous Australian looking for a career that will influence the nature of modern health care? If you would like to take the first step towards a diverse, challenging and rewarding future, you can start by exploring the Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences’ many outstanding undergraduate health degrees

What we provide

The Yaitya Purruna (Kaurna words meaning 'our own health and wellbeing') Indigenous Health Unit provides:

  • teaching and learning support across schools within the Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences
  • development of vertical and horizontal programming across the faculty's schools to ensure the inclusion of core cultural capabilities curriculum for working with Indigenous peoples
  • engagement with community stakeholders over priority community health, education and social issues
  • research within teams across the University and with external partners
  • student support in collaboration with the faculty and Wirltu Yarlu Aboriginal Education
  • support for Indigenous student retention and recruitment across the faculty
  • support for marketing and promotions development within the faculty
  • support for Indigenous staff recruitment.

Contributions to research

Academic staff in our unit contribute to a variety of University research, teaching and curriculum development on Indigenous health. Much of this is in the Faculty of Health and Medical Science’s core research area regarding Indigenous Health.

Community engagement

South Australian Aboriginal Health Innovation LaunchPad

The SA Aboriginal Health Innovation LaunchPad is a joint initiative between the Aboriginal Health Council of South Australia (external link) and Yaitya Purruna.

The LaunchPad provides an avenue in which individuals, health service agencies, University staff, honours and postgraduate students, and interested parties can put forward grounded ideas for practical innovations that are intended to improve the health and wellbeing of Indigenous South Australians.

The LaunchPad model has been designed to add value to Indigenous health research in South Australia by:

  • increasing the influence of the Aboriginal Health Council and its member organisations on the Aboriginal health research agenda in South Australia
  • establishing a community-recognised central process by which individuals and communities can put forward ideas to create real health changes within their own communities
  • increasing the likelihood of research and innovation being directly linked to a problem identified by a community
  • fostering research and innovation partnerships and collaboration between universities, communities and governments
  • minimising health research duplication and increasing research efficiency in South Australia
  • linking the research capacity of universities with the health problems actually experienced by Aboriginal peoples in South Australia, in a manner in which health researchers are supported to work respectfully with communities to address practical health issues.


The University offers a comprehensive scholarships scheme for undergraduate and postgraduate students, including scholarships specifically for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Students. Funded by the University, industry and non-profit organisations, these scholarships are available to potential and currently enrolled students.

The Terry Roberts Scholarship will benefit me on a daily basis with all my textbooks and what I need for my university studies in nursing. When I finish my studies I hope to go back home and help my community. I will be the first person in my family to complete university and I want to be a role model for other people back home, and encourage them to go to university.Tallulah Bilney, Bachelor of Nursing, recipient of the Terry Roberts Scholarship


General scholarships for Indigenous students

You may also like to investigate a variety of other Indigenous undergraduate and postgraduate scholarships (external link) that may not be offered with the University. 

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Access Entry Scheme

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students can utilise the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Access Entry Scheme to get into medicine, dentistry and oral health degrees. In addition to undertaking the UMAT (Undergraduate Medicine and Health Sciences Admission Test) and Oral Assessment, applicants applying under the Access Entry Scheme undertake the Wirltu Yarlu selection process, which involves testing and an interview.

Below are some key contacts and sources of information related to Indigenous health and wellbeing for students, academics and researchers.