29 January, 2019

Media Release – SRWF inaugural Pat Turner Scholarship awarded

The National Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisation (NACCHO) has welcomed the creation and awarding of the Pat Turner Scholarship Program by The Sir Roland Wilson foundation to six scholars. Pat Turner is the current CEO of NACCHO.

NACCHO Acting Chair Donnella Mills said, “the scholarship is named after Pat and will provide for Australian Public Service employees to complete full time post-graduate study at the Australian National University or Charles Darwin University. This honour for Pat is a testament to her years
of hard work, resilience and advocacy for Indigenous peoples.”

Pat’s career as a public servant included many great achievements. She was the Deputy Secretary of the Department of Aboriginal Affairs and the Deputy CEO of ATSIC at its inception. She was also responsible for setting up the Council for Aboriginal Reconciliation when working in the Dept of Prime Minister & Cabinet. After winning the Monash Chair of Australian Studies, Georgetown University she moved to Washington DC as Professor of Australian Studies. She was the inaugural CEO of NITV and was appointed NACCHO Chief Executive Officer in April 2016.

The Sir Roland Wilson PhD scholarship program has recently been extended to now include the Patricia Turner Scholarship program. The Foundation decided to name it after an influential, significant and impressive Indigenous woman. She was considered a trailblazer in the APS and her legacy of encouraging her staff to seek out and undertake educational opportunities was certainly something to be celebrated. That Pat came from humble beginnings and had to repeatedly prove herself against a system of societal inequality, was somewhat reminiscent of Sir Roland Wilson’s beginnings. He was from a very working-class background and was awarded a scholarship to study at Oxford.

 In August 2018 SRWF held selection interviews for the inaugural Pat Turner Scholarship. We had 17 APS agencies participating and actively promoting the opportunity to their staff. Each participating agency conducted its own internal selection process and 13 nominations were forwarded to us.
The Selection committee shortlisted 11 applicants to interview. NACCHO congratulates the recipients and wished them well in their chosen fields of studies.

The scholarships were awarded to:

Anthony Cowley Department of Social Services Master by Research CDU
Craig Leon Department of Human Services Master by Research ANU
Martin Dallen Department of Agriculture & Water Resources Master of Forestry ANU
Peter (PJ) Bligh Department of the Environment & Energy Master of Economic Policy ANU
Steve Munns Department of Human Services PhD ANU
Deborah Katona Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet Master of Public Policy CDU

 For more information please call Colin Cowell: 0401 331 251

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