After a rigorous assessment and interview process, the Scholarship Co-convenors are delighted to announce the recipient of the third Joan Bielski Scholarship is Sarah Clark.
Sarah is in her first year of a Bachelor of Social Work at the University of Wollongong. Her dedication to her studies has shown in her excellent grades and her academic referee conveyed: ‘I have absolute confidence in Sarah’s ability to complete her studies and pursue her career.’
Sarah and her eldest son are the first in their family to attend university and it was the desire to set an example that inspired Sarah to pursue higher education. As she stated, ‘My chosen degree in Social Work will provide me opportunity to advocate for marginalised people as Joan did, allow me to continue to provide a positive example to my children and allow me to reach my goals.’
Joan Bielski was a leading advocate and activist for equality for women in employment and education. She was a founding member of the Women’s Electoral Lobby and the NSW Women in Education group. Joan was recognised for her work being made a Member of the Order of Australia (AM) and also named Officer of the Order of Australia (AO) for her ‘service to the community, particularly through programs to encourage women’s participation in political life and through continued contributions to the principles of equal opportunity, access to education and social reform.’ The Joan Bielski Scholarship was made possible by a generous bequest from Joan who wanted other women to enjoy the ‘second chance’ that she experienced when attending university, as well as the generous donations of family, friends and GW-NSW members.
The previous recipients of this scholarship were both dedicated students who excelled in their studies. Alison Crowe is now a fully qualified Social Worker at Calvary Mater Hospital Newcastle, who has worked in Oncology, Haematology and Surgery. Kate Mulder went on to complete her Honours year in 2020.
We thank this year’s applicants and short listed candidates for their time and effort and wish them well with their continued studies. We also congratulate Sarah and look forward to the opportunity to present her award in person at a later date.