ALGWA 2018 Bursary Award Winner Announced

Catherine Austin of Corangamite Shire Council, has been awarded the 2018 Australian Local Government Women’s Association Vic Bursary.

The Maternal and Child Health and Immunisation Services Coordinator will use the $1,750 award to assist in her Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) studies.

Two Special Commendation Awards were also given, recognising Sharon Houlihan of Wellington Shire Council and April Ure of Pyrenees Shire Council. Sharon is Executive Manager of Major Projects and studying a Master of Business Administration. And April is a Property Revenue Officer and studying a Bachelor of Business. Each received a cheque for $250 towards their education costs.

The winners were announced at the annual ALGWA Bursary afternoon tea, held at the Melbourne Town Hall. Guest speaker, lawyer and company director Kate Spargo presented the cheques and certificates with President Helen Coleman.

The Bursary award was established in 1989 to encourage and assist women in local government to further their education.

Catherine has worked in Local Government for 25 years in various roles in Maternal and Child Health at Mornington Peninsula Shire Council, Glenelg Shire Council, and since 2015, at Corangamite Shire.

A Maternal and Child Health Nurse, Catherine’s passion is helping women and children experiencing vulnerability and disadvantage. She began a Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) in 2017, her thesis is: The Victorian Universal Maternal & Child Health Service: an effective model of care built on best practice guidelines to engage Aboriginal families.

The more than 50 strong audience was told by Ms Spargo that women’s groups like the ALGWA were important. She spoke about the value women bring to Boards and that there needed to be at least three women on a Board to make a difference.

She shared her 12 tips and said that a councillor role was a useful background to becoming a Board Director.