Tag Archives: women students


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)


This year’s Tempe Mann Travelling Scholarship, for overseas or interstate research, was awarded to Ashlea Hambleton. This scholarship is named in honour of Ms Tempe Mann, a teacher and University of Sydney alumni. Ashlea is a 3rd year PhD Student in Medicine and Health at the University of Sydney and a Clinical Psychologist who has a Master of Clinical Psychology (Distinction) and a Bachelor of Psychology (Hons 1).

Her thesis title is Family Based Treatment via Telemedicine for Rural and Regional Young People with Anorexia Nervosa. Sadly Anorexia nervosa (AN), more common among women than men, is the most lethal form of mental illness. Ashlea intends to visit Kings College London (KCL) Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology and Neurosciences (IOPPN) which has a leading eating disorder clinical-research centre whose team pioneered the early models of specialised family therapy for AN. During her time at this centre, Ashlea will be observing and assisting with clinical research projects and hopes to embed these findings in her PhD research and project outcome.

As a clinician-researcher Ashlea is working in the bridge between research and practice. She will learn from the team at IOPPN but also share her local experience because Australia has utilised telehealth services more than the UK, although practice is changing due to COVID. Ashlea has already worked with vulnerable communities in her role as a Clinical Psychologist and will be ready to make an impact as soon as she finishes her PhD. She is the first person in the country to try to adapt this therapy to telehealth. We wish her the very best with her work and look forward to hearing more of her research upon her return.

The field of applicants for this year’s scholarship was as impressive as always, and special mention is made of runner up, Erin Humphries. Erin holds a Bachelor of Science (Advanced) (Honours) Chemistry and is also enrolled as a Doctor of Philosophy in the Faculty of Medicine and Health at the University of Sydney. Her research work looks at formalin-fixed paraffin-embedded (FFPE) tissues and their use in large-scale phosphoproteomic cancer biomarker studies, to develop a data driven approach to cancer diagnoses and improve treatment decision-making. We wish Erin all the best with her important research and hope to hear more of her progress.

The Tempe Mann Travelling Scholarship was made possible by the bequest of the late Ms Tempe Mann and the generosity of GW-NSW members. We thank them, and the scholarship assessors, for their generous support of this scholarship.


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


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.