SWAN Bursaries

For the past few years, SWAN and individual members have donated money towards  a SWAN Bursary for a female Masters student, who, without the extra financial assistance would be unable to commit to study.  Scholarships are awarded by Graduate Women Victoria, (GWV)  Their goal is to serve and empower women through education and advocacy locally, nationally and internationally.  The scholarship is worth $3000 and SWAN conributes what we can to this, with other donors funding any balance.

 On the GWV website (http://gradwomenvic.org.au )  you will find all the information that you may need to explain the importance of this program, details of the scholarship programs, including the ‘Marilyn Godley scholarship for Indigenous students',  http://gradwomenvic.org.au/scholarships/marilyn-godley-scholarship-indigenous-students/  Which is the particular scholarship to which SWAN likes to contribute to annually.

GWV-Scholarship-Report-2015-.pdf   This link provides news of last year's scholarships given by Graduate Women Victoria, which gives some idea of the scope of the whole scheme of which we are a small part.

There are two methods that can be used to donate 

If you wish to pay online:

please use the form as explained below:-

  • Click on www.communityfoundation.org.au  Click on the blue "Donate Now" symbol on the left of the page
  • Click "sub Fund" and type in Graduate Women Victoria Donors Fund and it will pop up in the list and supply the appropriate cde number for the SWAN Scholarship
  • Click on Comments. Write "For the SWAN Scholarship"
  • Complete the form with your donation amount.

 Alternatively if paying by cheque:

Make your cheque out to :Australian Communities Foundation and attach to a printed donation form.  Please click on the following link to download the relevant form: GWV-scholarship-donation-form-.doc


 Again many thanks for your continued action for social justice, and what better way than support for education of women.

 2021 Recipient

SWAN Bursary ($3,500):  La Trobe University Sponsored by the Southern Women’s Action Network for a student whose study and career plans focus on human rights/social justice issues at the local, national or international level.

I experienced an abusive intimate partner relationship for the first three years of my 20s, which has significantly shaped my life. Due to this abuse, I developed a severe anxiety disorder, involving frequent panic attacks, and lost all sense of trust in both myself and others. I started university after the relationship ended and fell in love with social science. However, the process of my education has been slow; interrupted with several breaks in order to tend to my mental health. Despite these significant challenges, I maintained a high grade-point average and achieved first class honours.
My experience with intimate partner violence allowed me to cultivate a passion for gender equality and women’s rights, for which I am extremely grateful.

My current Masters by Research Thesis explores the social structures perpetuating dating violence within Australia, and the impact dating violence has on young Australian women. I have conducted empirical research involving both qualitative and quantitative analyses of online survey responses from 79 young Australian women (18-26). I use a feminist theoretical perspective to argue the patriarchal structure of Australian society encourages dating violence to perpetuate uninterrupted through patterns of silencing, normalising, and excusing of abuse against young women. My study also argues the impact of dating violence on young women’s lives is extremely influential and long-lasting, with education, employment, personal identity, and future relationships being key areas negatively affected. This research project has a great deal to offer by providing a detailed and comprehensive understanding of dating violence, informed by the direct experiences of young Australian women and by simultaneously being grounded in my own experience with abuse.

Following the successful completion of my Masters degree, I plan to secure a PhD position exploring the topic of the ‘continuum’ of dating violence – as experienced both through technology and in-person, with a particular interest in the effect dating violence has on young women’s higher education. In addition to my Masters degree, I am also currently working on outreach opportunities to synthesise my research into bite-sized information accessible to young women through social media platforms; developing my Master’s thesis into a journal article; and building social support and a sense of community for Master’s and PhD students within my department in my role as a HDR representative.

I would like to extend my utmost gratitude to both Graduate Women Victoria and the Southern Women’s Action Network for the honour of this scholarship, and the support it has provided me in completing my studies and furthering my efforts to fight against gender inequality and violence against women and girls.

2019 Recipient Updates

Robyn Oxley, a SWAN winner in 2019, has continued to be a prolific publisher, volunteered as an assessor for the scholarship program in 2020 and in the same year was appointed as a Lecturer in Criminology at the University of Western Sydney.

2021 news  Robyn has been appointed to a Lectureship in Social Sciences at the University of Western Sydney: “With a background in Aboriginal affairs within the criminal justice system and self-determination, Ms Oxley will lecture in social sciences, policing and criminology. As one of the few Indigenous criminologists in Australia, Ms Oxley hopes more Indigenous people will explore this career path.” 

Members may remember Robyn’s impressive speech to the 2019 AGM.   Despite our regret at her loss to Victoria, we congratulate her on this appointment and wish her every success in her future career.