Aboriginal Women’s Legal Education Trust
The Aboriginal Women’s Legal Education Trust (AWLT) provides scholarships to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women to attend Western Australian Universities to study law.
To find out more, please click on links below:
The scholarships are awarded to indigenous women with the potential and enthusiasm to succeed at law school.
They provide holders with the financial and other support (mentoring, networking and employment access) to complete their studies and begin their careers.
The primary goal of the scholarship is to strengthen Indigenous communities through educational opportunities. To meet this goal, the Trust seeks applicants who are not only academically able but also committed to contributing to their own communities.
The scholarships are unique in that they not only grant an annual stipend to successful applicants but will also provide coaching and networking opportunities, as well as vacation clerkships to scholarship recipients.
The Trust is a joint project of barrister Clare Thompson and Women Lawyers of WA. The Hon Robert French AC is our patron and the directors of the trust are Clare Thompson, past President of Women Lawyers of WA, Elspeth Hensler, and retired Magistrate Dr Sue Gordon AM.
The Trust is funded by a gift of $250,000 from an inheritance from the estate of South Australian solicitor and Industrial Court Judge Garth Thompson.
Tax deductible donations are welcome.
The object of the Trust is to produce law graduates who are job-ready and who have access to professional employment at the conclusion of their degree.
The Trust was launched at a function at the Supreme Court of WA foyer on 15 December 2011.
The Trust acknowledges the invaluable support of The Hon Wayne Martin AC, The Hon Peter Martino, The Honourable Justice Joseph McGrath, the Director of the Legal Aid Commission, Dr Graham Hill and Freehills, all of whom have committed to providing vacation clerkships to scholarship holders.
We also acknowledge and thank Jenni Hill at Clifford Chance, who has committed to assisting our aims by providing skills training for the scholarship holders.
WLWA is integral to the scholarship. Its contributions include providing a buddy for the scholarship holder, as well as access to networking and social opportunities in the legal profession, in addition to access to education.
Past Scholarship winners
The inaugural scholarship was awarded in 2012 to Kelsi Forrest. Subsequent scholarship winners were:
- 2013: Courtney Winmar
- 2014: Ashleigh Lindsay
- 2015: Laura Vincent
- 2016: Danielle Kickett
- 2017: Emma Garlett
- 2018: Michelle Russo
The primary goal of the scholarship is to strengthen Indigenous communities through educational opportunities. Therefore, the Trust seeks applicants who are not only academically able but also committed to contributing to their own communities.
Applications are encouraged from women who have particular disadvantage arising from distance, educational history, age or family circumstances or for any other reason.
To be eligible, you must be able to answer YES to every question listed below:
|1.||Are you a Torres Strait Islander woman who usually resides in Western Australia?||YES|
|2.||Are you a citizen or permanent resident of Australia?||☐|
|3.||Are you eligible to be, or enrolled as a student in a university in Western Australia?||☐|
|4.||Are you eligible to study, or enrolled as a student studying for a bachelor’s degree or higher qualification in the study of law?||☐|
|5.||Are you eligible for AbStudy, AusStudy, and/or Youth Allowance etc.?||☐|
|6.||Are you motivated to undertake and be committed to a programme of studies?||☐|
|7.||Are you able to demonstrate enthusiasm and willingness for the proposed course of studies and have a drive to achieve your degree?||☐|
|8.||Do you have the potential to be a leader in the wider Indigenous or Australian Community?||☐|
Please see the attached FLYER for full information on how to apply.
The Heenan-Payne Prize
The Heenan-Payne Prize was established by WLWA in the early 1990s to encourage the study of feminist legal issues.
The prize is named in honour of two trailblazing women lawyers in Western Australia – Mrs Joan Heenan and Mrs Vivien Payne, and is sponsored by their respective families.
The Prize constitutes a payment of $1000, awarded to a person who is studying, or who was studying in the previous year, for an undergraduate, graduate or post-graduate law degree at a university in Western Australia.
Previous entries for the Prize have covered a wide range of topics including:
- Single Motherhood, the Sex Discrimination Act, and the Constitution: The decision in McBain v Victoria.
- Indirect Discrimination and the Sex Discrimination Act 1984: Expectations, Reality and Reform.
- Female Genital Mutilation & Refugee Law in Australia.
- Domestic Issues, Global Problems: Child Pornography and Prostitution in Australia and Japan.
- Don’t Beat Yourself Up About It: Deviancy, Morality and the Legal Regulation of Self Harm.
- The Loss of the Choice to not be Blessed: How should it be Compensated?
- The Conflicting Interests in regards to Mandatory Partner Notification of HIV-Infection.
- Domestic Violence and Rules of Evidence in the 21st Century: a critique of “battered woman syndrome” and the use of expert testimony in defensive homicides.
How to Apply
The judgment criteria for this prize is currently under review by WLWA and the relevant sponsors. Once the criteria has been fixed, the prize will be advertises as open for submissions.