International Women's Day Scholarship

International Women’s Day is held annually on 8 March to celebrate the social, economic, cultural and political achievements across the globe by women. It also marks a call to action to accelerate gender equality.

Port Stephens Council offers scholarships to local women to achieve their goals across arts, culture, environment, business, community, health or sport.

Key dates

Applications open 15 January 2024 and close 12 February 2024.

Who can apply?

Women aged 16 years and above who live in the Port Stephens LGA.

How to apply

  1. Read the Terms and Conditions.

For more information and to apply online

Previous winners

The following winners were awarded a $1,000 International Women's Day Scholarship from Port Stephens Council.

Sally-Anne Marshall
A dedicated and tireless social worker who has served the community of Port Stephens for 8 years. There are very few face-to-face social workers in the area, but Sally-Anne has been a beacon of hope for women who have survived domestic violence, homelessness, and other adversities.

Now, Sally-Anne is taking her advocacy work to the next level by focusing on disability, particularly those with neurodivergence. With the help of this scholarship, she hopes to continue her passion in this space and develop much-needed books and resources that will support the community.

Emma McMillan
The proud owner of the Wellness Centre in Port Stephens. With many years of experience in the wellbeing and community services industry, Emma is passionate about helping people live their best lives.

With the help of this scholarship, Emma is taking her commitment to the next level. She's been working hard to bring weekly wellness classes to those in need, including people experiencing hardship, homelessness, family and domestic violence, NDIS, or mental health issues.

This scholarship will also help Emma to expand her initiative and offer even more support to people in our community who are struggling.

Brodie Oxlade
A courageous survivor of child abuse and post traumatic stress disorder who is determined to turn her pain into purpose.

Brodie has an incredible story to share, and she is ready to share it with the world through a memoir that will raise awareness about these issues. But publishing a book is no small feat, and Brodie can't do it alone–that's where the Port Stephens Council IWD scholarship will assist.

Brodie will use the scholarship to help cover the costs of publishing her book, including legal checks, editing, formatting, printing, and distribution. By helping Brodie, we’re also helping make a difference in the lives of countless people who are struggling with similar experiences.

Brodie's memoir will be a powerful tool for raising awareness and helping others heal.

Jacie Whitfield – Sponsored by the Rotary Club of Salamander Bay
Jacie has a passion for empowering women through their menopausal transition, post-partum recovery, and infant care.

She wants to bring her expertise to the beautiful community of Port Stephens through workshops and classes, all of which will be available via a mobile service.

With the help of the IWD scholarship funds, Jacie hopes to level up her skills, education, and training, as well as expand her marketing strategies. Additionally, the funds will also be used to provide top-of-the-line equipment for her sessions.

  • Tara Kirby-Campbell | Raymond Terrace
    Tara is a 21 year old who owns a music education company for students in Newcastle and Port Stephens with the goal of making music accessible to all, regardless of monetary or other barriers. After struggling with a disability herself as a young person, Tara devotes her heart and soul to ensuring that barriers of chronic health, disability, sexuality and finance are seen as learning opportunities, rather than a struggle. Tara currently offers 3 scholarships to students who show great potential, but are restricted by disability or finances. With her International Women’s Day scholarship, Tara will award an additional 3 scholarships to encourage young women, particularly those who have autism and ADHD to pursue music lessons, not only as a lifelong skill, but also for therapeutic measures.
  • Menindee Simon | Karuah
    Menindee is a 34 year old who plans on using her scholarship to start the first Women’s Aboriginal basketball team in Karuah. She hopes that the women who play will be role models for their kids, showing them it’s ok to have a go. There’s already a team of 8 ready to play and with this scholarship, they’ll be able to subsidise the cost of registration, game fees and uniforms and access transport to get to and from the training facilities. It’ll also be great for their health, connection and community and their confidence as they get out into the community and play in competition. Now, instead of just watching the men’s team play, they’ll be participating and inspiring future generations of girls.
  • Morgan Martin | Brandy Hill

Morgan is a 23 year old who wants to support young woman to find their first job through a program called Resume Recuperation. Using this scholarship, Morgan will launch the program, and run low cost workshops to assist young women find their first job and navigate their career pathway. From resume writing to career planning, how to search for a job and interview skills training, Morgan will hire a venue, advertise and prepare the materials for the workshops and will also offer each participant a follow-up service with 1 free 15 minute individual coaching session post-interview.

  • Simone Jolly | Tanilba Bay – Sponsored by the Rotary Club of Salamander Bay

Simone is a 54 year old and an awesome audiologist – as stated by her clients. Simone started her business, Jolly Good Hearing, providing mobile hearing testing service for children in Port Stephens and the Hunter Regions to try and help reduce the long waiting lists for hearing tests for children. With this scholarship, Simone will expand her services to offer a mobile earwax removal service to the ageing population in both nursing homes and private residences. The aim is to reduce GPs workloads, provide faster results, and allow the opportunity for ear pathologies to be detected quicker.

  • Beth Innes is the Director of Sports 4 All, a not-for-profit organisation that works to increase the participation of women and girls in sport. Beth’s aim is to introduce Sports 4 All to more sporting clubs within Port Stephens, assisting them to create an inclusive and family-friendly culture that supports female recruitment and participation. She also aspires to work with local community organisations to encourage more vulnerable women to get involved in sport.
  • Shannon Whyte. As an Aboriginal woman, Shannon hopes to inspire the next generation of young people, particularly young Aboriginal women. Shannon’s aim is to build on her career in project management by undertaking further leadership training and mentoring. She plans to use her leadership skills to assist local community organisations that work with women, Aboriginal people, or vulnerable residents.
  • Renee Goreham-Selby is a physics lecturer and researcher in nanotechnology for biomedical applications at the University of Newcastle. She is also passionate about promoting science and maths among school-aged children, creating educational materials and holding online science sessions during the COVID lockdown. Renee’s aim is to develop a suite of permanent science resources for schools and families.

  • Nikita Austin is a speech pathologist from Salamander Bay and proud Indigenous woman who recently established her own practice called 'Eat. Speak. Repeat. Allied Health'. Nikita overcame significant adversity when looking to open her own practice, while identifying a significant need for more allied health services in the Port Stephens area. Nikita hopes to use the scholarship to create more inclusive holiday programs for children and adults with additional needs. Programs will include dance and movement therapy, sensory stimulation programs and craft workshops in sensory friendly environments.
  • Elle Clayton-Brown is a first year nursing student at the University of Newcastle as well as a competitive surfer. Hailing from Corlette, Elle is hoping to achieve solid results at World Surf League Qualifying Series events being held this year. The scholarship will help Elle achieve her goals both in and out of the water as she continues her nursing studies and pursues her surfing dreams on the world stage.
  • Bernadette Flynn is a full time carer to her husband and 2 foster children who have special needs in Medowie. Bernadette's project looks to connect and engage Port Stephens seniors through ongoing craft classes at retirement villages and aged care facilities. The scholarship will assist Bernadette in fostering connections among Port Stephens seniors with the establishment of regular craft classes, as well as contributing towards the purchase of materials for participants to use.

  • Grace Hewitt is a year 11 student who has represented Fingal Beach Surf Lifesaving Club at State and National Titles and whose long term goal is to qualify in athletics for the Commonwealth Games in 2022. The scholarship will help Grace with costs associated with her ongoing training.
  • Asha Larkin has a diploma in fashion business and has completed a styling course, currently studying event management at TAFE NSW. Asha’s goal is to present a sustainable fashion runway event which would help to educate us all about the environmental impacts of the fast fashion industry. The scholarship will allow Asha to organise and run a free sustainable fashion event for Port Stephens residents.
  • Chontelle Grecian runs a Facebook group specifically for Port Stephens Mums with a business idea or fledgling business. Chontelle has found in the past that childcare needs have been a major barrier to women attending training and networking events so she intends to use the scholarship to offer free business workshops which would include qualified child care onsite.

  • Saffron Quantrell of Anna Bay is raising up local women by sharing inspiring stories in her free family magazine 'What's on in our Backyard'. With assistance from her scholarship, Saffron plans to publish a new annual magazine called ‘Real women of Port Stephens’ featuring inspiring stories from a diverse selection of women from all walks of life.
  • Maya Stewart of Nelson Bay is a role model for aspiring sports stars. She is currently playing for the NSW, Waratah Women’s Super W team and has represented Australia at an international level.
  • Emily Healy of Medowie is just 16 years old and has started a business to teach children and young people how to cook wholefoods free from additives and preservatives.

  • Jackie Dujmovic is the Director and founder of drone system company Hover UAV. Jackie used her scholarship to run workshops that connected young people and in particular young women with drone technology. At the workshops she educated participants about the various careers in the sector such as coding, operating and maintaining drones, and taught them the rules and regulations of operating unmanned aerial vehicles in public spaces.
  • Allissa Hassett is an art therapist who provides therapy and recovery support. Allissa used her scholarship to establish an open art therapy support group for Port Stephens women in crisis, or those who were rebuilding their lives post-crisis. Through her art therapy workshops at a local community centre the participants reconnected with their authentic selves and began to practise self-care again.
  • Skye Swan is a yoga instructor based in Nelson Bay. Skye used her scholarship to establish Frontline Yoga Port Stephens from April 2018 onwards. Frontline Yoga is a non-profit movement that offers yoga classes to military personnel, police, firefighters, paramedics and healthcare workers, particularly those with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).