Tag Archives: scholarships


The 2022 scholars and awardees are an impressive group of young women. Each of the wonderful women students at this year’s ‘Celebrating Our Scholars’ event, both undergraduates and postgrads, demonstrated a commitment to learning for the benefit of other people in the community.

President Tricia Blombery

It was great to see 6 of our awardees at the morning tea celebrating their achievements.

Sarah Clark

Louisa and Helen Ward with Sarah

Sarah Clark, who is in the final year of her Joan Bielski Scholarship, spoke about how the belief GW NSW has placed in her made such a difference to her confidence in her studies. Sarah is studying Social Work at the University of Wollongong and making exceptional progress. She has great empathy and understands the challenges people face, and will no doubt be an asset to this field. Both of Joan Bielski’s nieces, Helen and Louisa Ward, were in attendance, to present Sarah with her overdue certificate. It was also great to meet Tyrone, Sarah’s son, who is engaged now in his own university studies.

Christine Yeats, Caroline Muldoon and Tricia Blombery

Caroline Muldoon

Caroline Muldoon is a fantastic representative of life-long learning, having completed her degree, moving onto Masters and looking towards a PhD. At the 2023 National Council of Women NSW ‘Celebrate Being Australian’ event, Caroline received the Award sponsored by Graduate Women. She has already done incredible work in the field of behavioural studies in education and we wish her all the best as she continues her study. She recognised the ‘change champions’ in the audience, women who have gone before and attained their degrees in a much less supportive time, and the work still to be done in gender equality.


Demi McFarlane, this year’s UNE English Prize recipient, (seen above with Treasurer, Christine Yeats) is in her second year studying to become an English and Drama teacher and thanked Graduate Women for recognising her hard work. She hopes to deliver a love of the arts and learning that underscores and enriches education. Studying remotely has allowed Demi the freedom to work and study from Sydney but she is travelling to the campus to experience her first intensive study week with fellow students. We wish her all the best.

The Jamieson Award recognises high achieving students with a commitment to their community. the 2022 awardee, Leyla Meharg, demonstrated all the attributes of this award. With her excellent study record attaining a University Medal for her Bach Science and Advanced Studies and her engagement with community, she is now studying medicine at Notre Dame. Her commitment to the environment reflects Hilda Jamieson’s own love of nature, as she too was a Science graduate and keen horticulturalist. We’re confident Leyla will continue her excellent study and community service record.

Ashlea, Tric and Dr Jane Baker, Chair of the Education Trust 

Clinical psychologist, Ashlea Hambleton, was last year’s impressive Tempe Mann Travelling Scholarship recipient and is about to embark on her funded study to England and Kings College’s Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology and Neurosciences. There she will continue her research on Family Based Treatment via Telemedicine for Rural and Regional Young People with Anorexia Nervosa. This is important and far-reaching work and will hopefully lead to better outcomes for young women with this disorder and their families. We wish her the best of luck with her overseas study and look forward to hearing about her work upon her return.

Archana and Suki Jaiswal with Prof Shirley Randell


One of this year’s national Barbara Hale Fellowship recipients was Sydney based Sukanya Jaiswal. Suki is a clinical optometrist and previously graduated with dual Bachelor degrees in Optometry and Vision Science as well as Master of Optometry in 2020 from UNSW. Making the significant decision to move her work aside to commence a PhD, she is researching the short and long term effects of bushfire smoke exposure on the eye’s surface. She was inspired by the rise in eye surface disease in many of her patients brought on by the Black Summer of 2019. Her work, some of which is being conducted at the University of Tasmania, will identify cellular changes as well as the best preventative and treatment options.


Thank you to Dr Hilary Yerbury (Education Convenor) – seen above with Ben Jones, Ashlea and Dr Christine Jennett (Scholarships Convenor), and Christine Yeats (Treasurer) above, as well as Tric Blombery (President) and Dr Jane Baker (Chair, Education Trust) for their coordination of the event and to all who came along to his heart-warming celebration.




Every year, Graduate Women NSW proudly sponsors a range of annual university-based prizes and application-based awards and scholarships for the women students of NSW and ACT. We are pleased to share the following list of recipients for 2022. You can support the Education Trust and State Awards offered by GW-NSW by donating at any time.

(based on 2021 Academic Year)

GW-NSW Inc Education Trust Scholarships and Awards

GW NSW Tempe Mann Travelling Scholarship
Ashlea Hambleton PhD student, Medicine and Health at the University of Sydney; Clinical Psychologist, Master of Clinical Psychology (Distinction) and a Bachelor of Psychology (Hons 1).

2020-23 GW NSW Joan Bielski Scholarship (support provided for 3 years) – For a mature age student in first year of Undergraduate Study
Sarah Clark – Bachelor of Social Work at the University of Wollongong

GW NSW Central West Dr Barbara Wright Scholarship (Biennial Award)
Emma Stubbs – Emma holds a First Class Honours Science (Neuroscience) degree from the University of New South Wales and is in the postdoctoral Doctor of Medicine Program at the University of Sydney. The stream she will join within this degree requires 4 years of F/T study and has a specialism in rural medicine.

GW NSW Inc Tish Proctor Memorial Prize – USYD Most proficient woman student in First Year Government
Stella Haugh & Ondine Karpinellison

GW NSW Inc Tish Proctor P/G Prize Most proficient woman student doing postgraduate coursework study in public policy, administration and affairs in Government – USYD
Adeline Siva

GW NSW Joan Ritchie Award (For a woman student in her second year of her first undergraduate degree)
Katherine Fitzpatrick – Bachelor of Oral Health (Therapy and Hygiene), Charles Sturt University

GW NSW Education Trust Award (For a woman student in the third year of her first degree)
Vivien Clarke Bachelor International Security and Bachelor Science (Psychology), majoring in Arabic language, Australian National University, Canberra

GW NSW Jamieson Award (judged on completed degree in 2021)
Leyla Meharg – enrolled in a B. Science and B Advanced Studies, Physiology Honours at the University of Sydney

State Awards and Prizes

GW NSW Award as part of NCW Australia Day Awards January 2022
Siobhan Ryan – History graduate (1st class Hons), University of Sydney

GW NSW University of New England Award: Science (BSc)
Charlotte Gorman Deane

GW NSW University of New England Award: Arts (English) (BA)
Demi Mc Farlane

GW NSW Gina Savage Prize: Outstanding woman graduating in Science at University of Wollongong
Isabella Todd

GW NSW Prize in 200-level English Macquarie University
Tara Lyall

GW NSW Prize in English II Essays University of Sydney outstanding achievement for essays in English
Orla McKinney

GW NSW Gladys Marks Bursary for a mature-aged woman student completing a degree at USYD
Several recipients have received bursaries – names withheld

GW NSW Prize in Mathematics USYD for top woman Honours graduate
Recipient has requested their name be withheld

Branch Awards


Mavis Prater Prize/s for Women in Mathematics at Australian National University (jointly funded with ANU)

Canberra Branch & ANU College of Asia & the Pacific Prize for woman student with the highest mark in first class honours


Cowra-Canowindra HSC Scholarship
Talitha Stanley &
Zara McKenzie – from Cowra, enrolled in the Bachelor of Medical Radiation Science course at Charles Sturt University in Port Macquarie, specialising in Nuclear Medicine and Molecular Imaging

DR BARBARA WRIGHT Post Graduate Scholarship (Biennial Award)
Emma Stubbs – First Class Honours Science (Neuroscience) degree from the University of New South Wales.  She has been accepted into the postdoctoral Doctor of Medicine Program at the University of Sydney


City Branch TAFE Tertiary Preparation Course Award for Academic Merit and Proceeding to University Studies
Brianna Lumb – enrolled in a Bachelor of Medical and Health Science (Honours) (Dean Scholar) at the University of Wollongong


North Shore Branch Prize for 300 Level Psychology – Macquarie University for proficiency in 300-level Psychology, Faculty of Human Sciences
Tina Huang-Smith

North Shore Branch Prize for 200 Level Modern History – Macquarie University for proficiency in at least 2 units at 200-level Modern History
Olivia Price

North Shore Branch Prize for 200 Level Ancient History – Macquarie University for proficiency in at least 2 units at 200-level Ancient History
Ginger-Rose Harrington

North Shore Branch Prize for 200 Level Bio Science – Macquarie University for proficiency in at least 2 units at 200-level Biological Sciences
Unawarded this year

National Awards

Barbara Hale Fellowship/s
Sukanya Jaiswal PhD Candidate, Optometry (UNSW)


Members were finally able to meet some of our deserving 2021 awardees at the Celebrating Our Scholars event held on Thursday. It was worth the wait as this warm and intimate event enabled the executive to meet and present three of our scholars with their award certificates: Rhianne Scicluna – The Tempe Mann scholar, Halle Quang – the co-recipient of the national Barbara Hale Fellowship, and Natalie Purcell – the 2020 Education Trust awardee.

Halle Quang with President Tric Blombery and ET Chair Jane Baker

Rhianne Scicluna being presented

Natalie Purcell receiving her award

It was great to be able to meet safely in person, however, it was unfortunate that Sarah Clark – the 2021 Joan Bielski scholar – was unable to attend due to COVID affecting her family. Sarah sent some heartfelt words regarding being the recipient of this three-year scholarship:

“Financially attending university was filled with guilt and feelings of selfishness, that with every text book, computer or stationary item I needed I was taking money away from the family. I constantly questioned if I was doing the right thing studying at my age. While applying for the scholarship and reading about the Joan’s pioneering work and that of the GW-NSW I was inspired to think that maybe I was on the right path. Receiving the news, I had been awarded the Joan Bielski scholarship reinforced my belief I was doing the right thing.”

Sarah went on to say how “this second chance at education and improving my situation also provides an example to my children, that with hard work anything is possible and to never limit themselves.”

Everyone is thrilled for Sarah that she has completed her first year of a Bachelor of Social Work at the University of Wollongong and obtained high results. She expressed that with the support of the scholarship, ‘she has ‘the drive and passion to succeed not only through the degree but perhaps through further study and beyond into the workforce.’  Sarah hopes to pursue her areas of interest within social work: advocacy, policy and mediation within family services, justice and aged care.

At the event members enjoyed hearing from each award recipient about their study plans and aspirations.








The Education Trust – with tax deductible status – supports several of these awards that inspire, support and encourage women to reach their potential through higher education. We thank all members and associates who have generously donated to the Trust and Graduate Women’s state awards program.

ET Chair Jane Baker and President Tric Blombery with Joan Bielski’s nieces and members, Louise and Helen Ward

National CIR, Shirley Randell with Halle Quang and her charming son Hudson


Please enjoy reading a brief history of the organisation and a summary of the opening address by President ‘Tricia Blombery from the recent Centenary Event:

GW NSW President and the Governor of NSW

President Tricia Blombery and Her Excellency the Governor of NSW

“Your Excellency, Mr Wilson, members, friends, and supporters I am ‘Tricia Blombery the current President of Graduate Women-NSW. To begin I would remind you we are meeting on the belonging place of the Gadigal people of the Eora nation. I acknowledge and thank them for their custodianship of the land and pay my respects to their elders, past, present and emerging. And to the elders of the land from which you all have come today.

Why are we here? We are meeting to celebrate the Centenary of when, what is now known as, Graduate Women-NSW Inc became part of an international women’s movement working for the education of women and girls, women’s rights, and peace. This may seem strange when several years ago we celebrated 125 years! All members have copies of the booklet which maps the beginning of a group of women graduates at the University of Sydney. It was in 1920 that Mildred Muscio, who is represented here today by her family member David, met in London with our founding mother, Louisa MacDonald, and graduate women from around the world, to form the International Federation of University Women. Mildred returned to Sydney and with other members of the group from the university set to contacting similar groups in the other Australian states and framing a constitution of federated Australian groups to formally join the international group. This aim was achieved in 1921.

I am delighted to welcome such a diverse group to celebrate with us. Unfortunately many were not able to attend but sent wishes of congratulations and apologies which are listed on a page near the door. Those of you who are with us are a reflection of the many aspects of our association. We have the guests from NSW universities where we have established prizes over many years and who help promote our awards to their students. We welcome the Vice Chancellors of Newcastle and Wollongong and the Sydney University Women’s Group.

We have the other associations with whom we have worked over many years. We welcome National Council of Women NSW, who our graduate women helped establish almost 125 years ago, and their affiliate groups – the Country Women’s Association, Soroptimists International, The Women’s Club, the Catholic Women’s League, and the Mother’s Union. We welcome other Women’s groups – the Older Women’s Network, the Women’s Electoral Lobby, the Sydney Women’s Fund, and the Lyceum Club. We welcome other groups who share our aims – the Australian Council of Human Rights Education and The Equanimity Project. There are also the professionals who have shared their time and talents. We welcome our solicitors, our photographer, the people who have shared our office, and a very special woman who can for once relax and enjoy the day, our generous, patient, and dedicated Office Manager, Tamra.

Then there are our members past and present who are just a small part of the thousands of women who have worked tirelessly and cheerfully over the past hundred years offering their skills and time in our branches, state, national, and international bodies. I would single out our NSW Member Emerita, Gaynor Reeves, and our National Member Emerita, Jenny Strauss. We have a statement of Congratulations and best wishes were also received from Australian Graduate Women.

Last but certainly not least are our family and friends who encourage and support us and our activities. But that’s enough from me. Later in the programme you will hear from Dr Jane Baker, the Chairman of the Education Trust, and one of our past awardees, and be introduced to the winner of our Centenary Scholarship, Alana Munro.

Now it is my delight and privilege to invite Her Excellency the Honourable Margaret Beazley AC QC, the 39th Governor of New South Wales, to address us. Her Excellency commenced her five year tenure on 2 May 2019. Prior to that she enjoyed a long and distinguished law career spanning 43 years, during which time she served as a role model for women in law at both the State and national level.

Appointed Queen’s Counsel in 1989, in 1993 she was made a judge of the Federal Court of Australia, the first woman to sit exclusively in that Court. In 1996, she achieved the distinction of being the first woman appointed to the New South Wales Court of Appeal and, subsequently, as the first woman to be appointed as its President. She served, on a number of occasions, as Administrator of the Government of the State of New South Wales. She was made a Companion of the Order of Australia in the Australia Day Honours List on 26 January 2020 for “eminent service to the people of New South Wales, particularly through leadership roles in the judiciary, and as a mentor of young women lawyers”.

Her Excellency brings her deep commitment to education, youth leadership, human rights and social justice her role in service of the people of New South Wales.”

The fore-runners of GW-NSW began at the University of Sydney in 1892 with Louisa Macdonald when she became the first Principal of The Women’s College. In 1919, Dr Virginia Glidersleeve from Barnard College, Columbia University, New York, Prof Caroline Spurgeon of Bedford College, University of London, and Prof Winifred Cullis of the London School of Medicine for Women, met to plan an international association. In 1920 the newly formed International Federation of University Women had its first meeting in London. Louisa and Mrs Mildred Muscio of Sydney went as Australian observers and were determined to organise an Australian organisation that could apply to join IFUW. The Sydney group contacted other graduate women’s groups around Australia, drafted and submitted a constitution for a national body, and presented it for membership to IFUW. In May 1921 the Sydney group received the news that their application had been successful.

Louisa Macdonald

We have achieved a lot in the past hundred years. Throughout this time we have attracted over four thousand members and formed over twenty-five branches across suburban and greater Sydney and in country NSW and ACT. Our conferences, lectures, research projects and newsletters have provided members with opportunities for life-long learning, development of leadership skills, and social support often leading to lasting friendships.

Through our advocacy work and our collegial relationships with other women’s groups we have promoted our aims of improving access to education for women and girls and through that equality of opportunity in employment and all aspects of society. Our Projects for Action have enabled us to give practical support to Indigenous groups in Australia and women and girls worldwide.

A great deal of our efforts has been devoted to raising funds to provide prizes and awards to encourage women and girls in their education. Our first prize was in 1918 for English essays at the University of Sydney. Since then we have raised and shared thousands of dollars with women students and established an Education Trust with Deductable Gift Status. In 2021 we created the GW-NSW Centenary Award for a Post-graduate Masters or Doctoral student who could demonstrate ways in which her study and career plans support our purposes:

  • Promote equitable educational opportunities and lifelong learning.
  • Improve the status and wellbeing of women and girls.
  • Encourage women and girls to be active leaders and decision-makers in all spheres of public and private life.
  • Inspire and support women graduates to put their education and professional training to the service of the local, national and international community.
  • Work in harmony with other women’s groups who share our aims.
  • Promote the Vision of GW-NSW amongst all people, irrespective of their gender, age, race, nationality, religion, political opinion, sexual orientation or other status.

Many high quality applications were received and we were delighted to present the award to Alana Munro and wish her all the best with her research and future presentations.

Sydney University Women


Mildred Muscio