Young Illawarra women with a passion for achievement and a goal to make a lasting impact in their chosen field are being recognised by the International Women's Day Illawarra committee through the creation of a new Rising Star scholarship.
Aimed at women aged 15 to 21, the scholarship aims to provide support to and foster the growth of promising individuals as they embark on their educational and personal journeys.
The scholarship will be presented for the first time during the IWD Illawarra luncheon on Friday, March 8, 2024 at the WIN Entertainment Centre - a date that coincides with the global IWD date.
All scholarships on offer in 2024 will be increased to $2500, with International Women's Day Illawarra Committee Co-founder and Chair Vicki Tiegs OAM welcoming the community fundraising support that has made the increase possible.
"The first scholarship presentations were in 2009, four years after we began our fundraising luncheon, and since then we have awarded $144,500 in scholarships to worthy women," she said.
"Each and every year we receive applications from women who are all working towards inspirational personal goals, whether that be in sport, business, education or the arts, and it is rewarding to be able to help our recipients take that next step in achieving their dream.
"This year's United Nations theme for International Women's Day is Count Her In: Accelerating Gender Equality Through Economic Empowerment. If our scholarships can help Illawarra women overcome financial obstacles and access whatever they need to reach their goals, then our community will be the richer for it.
"None of it would be possible without the fantastic support of the Illawarra community which has helped grow our annual fundraising luncheon to become one of the largest IWD events in the country. Once again we anticipate more than 900 people joining us on the day to celebrate the strength and resilience of women in our community."
The eight scholarships target a range of categories and are predominantly named in honour of inspirational Illawarra women who are no longer with us but who left their mark on the region in the fields in which they excelled.
The scholarships are the Cate Stevenson scholarship for Education, Business & Community Service; the Kerryn McCann scholarship for sports; Aunty Mary scholarship for Indigenous Women; Creative Spirit (incorporating art, design, music, theatre, photography and other arts); the Beryl Lewis scholarship for Older Women; Dr Margaret Gardiner scholarship for Medical Research, the Gracie Wallis scholarship for Women with a Disability and the Rising Star IWD Scholarship for Young Women.
Applicants can self-nominate or be nominated.
Applications for the scholarships will close at 5pm on Wednesday, 31 January 2024.
Sign up for our newsletter to stay up to date.