In 2018, the International Women’s Day Illawarra Committee will offer six individual scholarships of $2,000 each to encourage women in our community, who might not otherwise have the opportunity, to expand their knowledge, skill and experience in a field of their interest or in which they have shown great potential.

Five of these annual scholarships have been named after inspiring Illawarra women who are sadly no longer with us but have left their mark on the region in the various fields in which they excelled, while the Creative Spirit IWD Scholarship for Women, was inspired by the artistic community of the Illawarra and to foster upcoming female talent in the field. In 2018 IWD Illawarra will be adding a new scholarship, in honour of Dr Margaret Gardiner, to be awarded to a local woman in the field of medical research in the area of cancer.

Applications for 2018 Scholarships and Grants are now open. Submit your application by filling out the form below.

IWD 2018 Scholarship Application Form

Note: Applications close 31st January 2018

Cate Stevenson IWD Scholarship for Women (Education, Business & Community Service)

Cate Stevenson was one of the Illawarra’s inspiring business women with a strong commitment to community.  Over a career that spanned more than 20 years, she achieved enormous success and was the first female in NSW to take on a Sales Management role in the motor vehicle sales industry.  Her contribution to the Illawarra community was exceptional and included 10 years on the Illawarra Black and White Committee (raising funds for Vision Australia) and Secretary of the Mt Kembla Mining Festival for 6 years.  Her passionate commitment to her career, family and community is recognised by the IWD Scholarship being named in her honour.

Kerryn McCann IWD Scholarship for Women (Sports)

Kerryn McCann was one of Australia’s most well known sportswomen.  Her humble yet approachable demeanour drew people to her.  She competed at World, Olympic and Commonwealth games level winning Gold at the Commonwealth Games in Melbourne – a moment that captured the heart of our nation.  Living in Wollongong’s northern suburbs with her family, she was seen regularly pounding the pavements in her quest to be the best.  Behind the scenes she was a supporter of many charities and of young women athletes.  Kerryn inspired women everywhere and IWD recognises her incredible achievements by the IWD scholarship being named in her honour.

 Aunty Mary IWD Scholarship for Indigenous Women (General)

Aunty Mary Davis was an Illawarra Aboriginal Elder known for her powerful commitment to Aboriginal issues, determination to cut through prejudice and to create justice. She was always at the forefront of Aboriginal issues working with government and non-government agencies, organisations and the community.  When something was needed for her people she’d find the ways and means. She was never shy, never scared or intimidated and for that she was highly respected in the Illawarra and brought respect to the whole Aboriginal community.  She was always looked to for guidance by the Aboriginal community and the greater Illawarra community.  She is recognised as the driving force behind continuous positive change and we honour her with the Aunty Mary IWD Indigenous Scholarship.   As she would say, ‘Keep striving for what you believe in and if you have something you feel strong enough about, you got to knock on doors’.

Creative Spirit IWD Scholarship for Women (Art, Design, Music, Theatre, Photography, other)

Inspired by the artistic community of the Illawarra, this award recognises the critical role that artists play in telling the stories of the diverse communities in which we live. Their work, whether as painters, playwrights or photographers, reflects the heart and soul of who we are and has the power to inspire, and bring people together.

The Beryl Lewis Scholarship for Older Women

Beryl Lewis was inspired by a love of older people and the joy and fulfilment that volunteering provided. Beryl had a long association with Warrigal where she operated the Warrigal Op-Shop, volunteered at the Mt Warrigal Care Home and served as a Board member from 1984-1998. During her time on the Board, Beryl developed an interest in Alzheimer’s Disease and was instrumental in setting up a Day Care Centre to provide respite to carers.  Now known as the Beryl Lewis Centre, this remains a key service offered by Warrigal today. Beryl also particularly enjoyed working with other inspiring women who were part of the Mt Warrigal Ladies Auxiliary. She once said “”I’m very proud of the Auxiliary and all of those who volunteer. People have done some wonderful things: you wouldn’t credit what they have done.”

Note: The applicant must be aged 55 or over.

The Dr Margaret Gardiner Scholarship for Medical Research

Dr Margaret Gardiner was a renowned Wollongong doctor and public advocate for breast cancer awareness. Diagnosed with breast cancer herself in the year 2000, Dr Margaret Gardiner did all in her power to raise funds to find a cure as well as raise awareness for breast cancer, creating a community of awareness and support in the Illawarra. The Illawarra ambassador for the National Breast Cancer Foundation, Margaret was often seen sporting her signature pink tutu and pink ribbons at the annual Wollongong Mother’s Day Classic run, which in 2017 was officially renamed Margaret’s Family Fun ‘n Run/ Walk in her honour. Dr Gardiner’s legacy continues to inspire others to find a cure. The Dr Margaret Gardiner Scholarship for Medical Research in the area of cancer will receive assistance towards their studies.