Some may have seen a message on the volunteer portal or email from DFES regarding Round 2 of the Federal Government’s AIDR training scholarships. If so, please be aware that the statement below is not correct:

“all applications must be endorsed by the Department of Fire and Emergency Services”

Members of the Western Australian Volunteer Bush Fire Service can seek endorsement from their Local Government to apply for a scholarship of up to $12,000 for vocational education and training at any RTO (including TAFE) and up to $25,000 for higher education.

Sponsor's message

Also, the email said that applications via DFES close on Friday 29 September 2017 but for Bush Fire Service Volunteers applying directly through to the AIDR (with Local Government endorsement), the closing date is 16 October 2017.

For all the details, including template endorsement letters etc, please read the information below and visit the Australian Institute for Disaster Resilience (AIDR) website here.

Here are the key facts from the AIDR website:

The Australian Institute for Disaster Resilience (AIDR) is administering a new $1 million Australian Government scholarship fund to boost education development opportunities for emergency management volunteers. The scholarships are available to Australian citizens or permanent residents. Volunteers in an emergency management agency can undertake studies in accredited units or courses in emergency and disaster management vocational training/education, and higher education.

  • You may be able to receive up to $12,000 for completing vocational education and training and up to $25,000 for higher education.
  • There will be four rounds for scholarship applications between 1 June 2017 and the 15 October 2018 (see table below).
  • A large proportion of the fund was committed in Round One and a smaller and a considerable proportion will be committed in Round Two.
  • It is expected that the remaining pool of funds will be much less for Rounds Three and Four.
  • Advice will be given as to changes in scholarship funding (eligibility criteria and funding priorities) on or before the opening date of each round.
  • Funds must be expended by August 1 2019 for all four Rounds.

ROUND TWO Applications will open Monday 4 September 2017

Sponsor's message

To apply, you need to register and use the online application portal. Please note that you only need to register and create an account if you starting a new application. If you are resubmitting a previous unsuccessful application, you can request to move your profile so you can edit your existing application using your username and password.


Create an Account and Login:

Read the scholarship funding guidelines:

Important Changes to Round Two Applicants:

  • If you are planning to study Advanced Diploma or Diploma of Public Safety (Emergency Management), you do not need to list the individual Units of Competency. But you must provide a start and end date for your studies.
  • Applicants for higher education courses and individual courses or Units of Competency must where possible still list each unit and its date.
  • Round Two applicants must be commencing the approved study from January 2018 to 1 August 2019 (the Round Two activity period).

Round Two Priorities:

AIDR is encouraging:

  • indigenous volunteers for higher education or vocational training/education.
  • female volunteers for vocational education.
  • applicants from the Northern Territory, Tasmania, and the Australian Capital Territory.

Example letter:

In completing your application we require you to upload two references, and both need to be connected to the agency with whom you volunteer. You will need to upload two separate documents, an agency endorsement letter, and a reference.

Firstly, the reference need only be a short (1 page) letter that shows someone of seniority who knows you is willing to offer support. It should demonstrate your commitment to ongoing participation in an emergency or disaster management volunteer role. Ideally, it is someone who has known you as a manager and can offer their support. It is helpful if they confirm your role and period of service, any previous role training, and why the training or education might be of service to the agency, and the town/location of the role.

Secondly, the endorsement letter can be very brief but it is one of the most important parts of the application. It demonstrates that you have whole-of-agency support for your application. Although it might be different in each organisation, usually the national or state office, usually the chief executive officer (or equivalent) should endorse you. The example Word template below, shows that a nominated delegate is acceptable (for example, the person given responsibility to act on behalf of the agency in this matter).

This document can be used as the draft for your agency endorsement letter. Please ensure that is signed by the officer and carries the organisation letterhead.


Application Round Applications open Applications close Outcome advised
Round One (CLOSED) 1 June 2017 14 July 2017 25 August 2017
Round Two 4 September 2017 16 October 2017 27 November 2017
Round Three 2 April 2018 14 May 2018 25 June 2018
Round Four 3 September 2018 15 October 2018 26 November 2018


What studies can be undertaken

Applications for course and/or units of study are encouraged for emergency and disaster management.

As a guide, some applicable emergency and disaster management courses and units of study currently advertised by providers are listed below.

The list does not represent all providers or courses that may be eligible for funding, nor does listing imply AIDR’s endorsement of the quality of any program over another.

Study mode options are stated as internal or external. Internal means taught face to face usually at the provider’s premises, but also off site, whereas external includes other modes of delivery such as online and distance education.

The list is based on the current web based information provided by education providers and does not provide all details and may be inaccurate. It is essential that you confirm the details with the education provider when preparing an application.


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