SWAN Bursaries

SWAN has provided bursaries to help disadvantage women over many years.  The history of this is recorded in "When Women Meet"  which details the first 26 years of SWAN's history.

Currently the bursary is given to a woman whose study and career plans focus on human rights/ social justice issues at the local, national or international level.  An Indigenous recipient is preferred, but this is not a requirement in case there is no suitable Indigenous applicant. 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 $3,500 and SWAN contributes 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 and details of the scholarship program and the link to the Australian Communities Foundation website where you can make an online donation - see details below.

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  or the link on the GWV page.  Click on the "Donate" symbol a little way down on the page
  • Click "Donate to a Fund" and type in Graduate Women Victoria Donors Fund and then "Support this Fund".
  • Type in the amount and  write "For the SWAN Bursary" in the Notes
  • Click  "Add to Cart" and complete the process

 Alternatively there is a donation box at each SWAN meeting and receipts are available in this box or you can send a cheque to P.O. Box 72 BITTERN 3918 indicating the purpose of the cheque.

  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.