Familiarisation Program

Student at dinner
Previous participants have said: "The generosity and warmth from the facilitators was something I didn't expect. So generous in their knowledge and experience, both personal and professional."

Indigenous PhD Familiarisation Program

Allied Health Indigenous PhD Familiarisation Program

The 2018 Indigenous PhD Familiarisation Program is specifically tailored to Indigenous allied health practitioners and students who are considering a PhD. Over three days, participants will engage in workshops and networking opportunities that enable:

  • Connection with some of Australia’s prominent Indigenous and non-Indigenous researchers
  • Participation in specialised learning focussed on PhD applications, grant writing and research skills
  • Opportunities to build your networks across allied health sciences
  • Development of your research proposal ideas with specialists and other Indigenous PhD students; and
  • Learning of the support and advancement of Indigenous scholarship at the University of Melbourne

So, if you are a practitioner or student in any of the allied health disciplines including physiotherapy, social work or psychology, and are considering research as part of your career goals, please contact Warwick Padgham, Manager, Indigenous Student Programs on (03) 8344 0828 or email padghamw@unimelb.edu.au.

Meeting the other delegates gave me a sense of purpose, belonging, community, and hope. Student participant
Famil group photo
The attendees of the 2015 Familiarisation Program Dinner.


The Familiarisation Program used engaging and interactive workshops to stimulate thinking and discussion around each of the participants’ interest in a research higher degree. Workshops were able to present a broad range of information for participants, whilst still being able to focus specifically on each individual’s topic.

Workshops included:

  • What’s your research idea? (Exploration of each participant’s individual research)
  • Not for the money – what are you doing a PhD for? (What are the motivations and goals for undertaking a PhD, and how it can assist in building a career)
  • What’s standing in your way? (Barriers, distractions and challenges of undertaking a PhD)
  • The University of Melbourne’s PhD+ Program (Extra elements to a PhD program that will support Indigenous PhD students through to graduation)
  • Enrolment and admissions (Administrative guidance as to the enrolment process)
  • Why do I need a supervisor? A guiding light, a partner, a mentor or something else? (The role of a PhD supervisor, what traits exist in a good one)
  • Getting started: Comprehensive library research (Structuring successful research strategies)
  • Moving from the political to a PhD (Narrowing a research agenda into an achievable PhD topic)

Reports from previous years:

2016 report

2015 report