Australian Federation of Graduate Women Scholarship Winners


Jessica Webb 

Jessica (Jess) Webb completed her Bachelor of Science degree in 2011 at Flinders University, Adelaide, where she majored in Microbiology. Jess has always had a keen interest in infectious diseases, particularly antibiotic resistance mechanisms of bacteria that cause disease in humans. During her undergraduate degree, Jess undertook voluntary work at the Flinders Hospital Microbiology Laboratory, where she worked on Human Parechovirus (HPeV), a serious viral infection in young children. During this time Jess gained an in-depth insight into how scientific research can be used to help the community, and developed a strong desire to pursue a career with a clinical focus. Once Jess finished her undergraduate degree, she moved to Darwin to learn more about tropical infectious diseases. In 2012, Jess completed her Honours degree at Menzies School of Health Research. Jess’s Honours project involved the identification of antibiotic resistance and virulence genes in Burkholderia pseudomallei, the causative agent of the tropical infectious disease melioidosis. In 2014, Jess commenced her PhD at Menzies. She is continuing her work on melioidosis, an endemic disease in the Northern Territory that adversely affects many people every year, both mentally and physically.

Emily Fitzpatrick

Dr Fitzpatrick is a paediatric registrar working in Western Sydney, who is completing a PhD on research working with remote Aboriginal communities of The Kimberley. She is a passionate advocate for the underprivileged youth of Australia  and feels that through the findings in this research, more studies will be conducted with remote communities in a way that will increase local research capacity.  In addition research that is done in a culturally respectful way will produce results that are meaningful and able to be used to improve the health and well being of the Aboriginal communities involved in the research.

Jessica Kingford 

Jess Kingsford is a Doctoral student in the School of Psychology at the University of Sydney. She is conducting research examining the emergence of what’s known as a person’s “moral identity”, or their awareness of themselves as a moral person. Contrary to current thinking – that moral identity emerges either during early childhood or not until adolescence, findings from Jess’ research suggest an alternative account – that moral identity emerges instead during middle childhood (or between 8 and 12 years of age), when children first become capable of abstract self-reflection and of thinking about themselves in generalised, non-specific terms. Furthermore, Jess’ research suggests that the ability to experience and anticipate moral shame also emerges at this age, and that it does so as a consequence of an emerging moral identity in children.  The next phase of Jess’ research involves the development of a much-needed new measure of moral identity that’s appropriate for use in research involving children under the age of 12. Jess’ research holds much promise for the future of moral education in schools, aligning itself as it does with developments in the United States research and education sectors and a renewed focus there on the importance of character development over cognitive development.


AFGW Barbara Hale Fellowship

The AFGW Barbara Hale Fellowship has been awarded to Stephanie Begg, a PhD student enrolled at University of Adelaide. The Fellowship, worth $8,000, will support the project ‘Mapping the dynamic metalloproteome of Streptococcus Pneumoniae at the host-pathogen interface to reveal novel antimicrobial targets.’ of S. Pneumoniae. This is an extension of Stephanie’s PhD project which aims to understand the role that essential micronutrients, such as metal ions, play in the colonisation and persistence of S. Pneumoniae in humans.Streptococcus Pneumoniae is the world’s foremost bacterial pathogen, with the greatest burden of disease in children under five years of age and the elderly, and the long-term aim of the research is to develop new drug targets against it.

AFGW Georgina Sweet Fellowship

The AFGW Georgina Sweet Fellowship has been awarded to Lilyan Panton, a PhD student enrolled at University of Tasmania. The Fellowship, worth $5,000 will extend Lily’s PhD project ‘Investigating Auditorium Acoustics from the Perspective of Chamber Orchestra Musicians’ by allowing her to undertake state of the art acoustic measurements in a further nine venues, bringing the total to the 16 concert halls used by the Australian Chamber Orchestras. These measurements have only been possible in the last few years, as it is only recently that the computing power necessary to process and store the information has become available.  As little as five years ago, these measurements had only been taken in ten venues world-wide.


AFGW Barbara Hale Fellowship: Samantha Khoury, University of Technology Sydney

Project: Biomarkers for the early detection of oral cancer

Oral cancer rates are on the rise. In the US alone, 42,000 people will be newly diagnosed with oral cancer in 2013 and it is the number one cancer in India with over 50,000 cases diagnosed annually. Worldwide the problem is far greater, with new cases exceeding 640,000 per annum. The age of diagnosis has also shifted to a much younger age group. Women in their 40’s now make up the fastest growing segment of the US population to be diagnosed. The key in managing this cancer is early detection.

2014 AFGW Fellowship: Hannah Thomas, The University of Queensland

Project: Students’ self-reported experience of bullying behaviours: A public health approach to reduce bullying in Australian schools

The goal of Hannah’s research to support schools in addressing issues to do with bullying, and help schools to improve current practices.

The harmful effects of bullying are widely recognised. Bullying in childhood and adolescence is associated with an increased risk of mental disorders, suicide attempts, drug and alcohol problems, as well as poor educational and vocational outcomes. The most useful way to assess school bullying is by asking students themselves. An associated issue is how to best capture the full spectrum of bullying behaviours, which now includes bullying through the use of technology – cyberbullying.


2013 AFGW Georgina Sweet Fellowship Winner is Karen Plummer.

Project summary: Hematopoietic Stem Cell Transplantation (HSCT) offers the hope of a cure to children with cancer who do not respond to conventional doses of treatment. However, this is the most intense of all the treatment strategies for childhood cancer with high doses of chemotherapy and total body irradiation used to condition the child for transplantation.

The Runner-Up of the 2013 AFGW Georgina Sweet Fellowship was Serena Yu.

Project: Serena Yu is a Phd student enrolled in the School of Economics at Sydney University, and is currently employed as a Senior Research Analyst at the Workplace Research Centre. Her research interests include labour, health and retirement economics. In particular, Serena is considering the welfare of Australian retirees, using survey data available between 2003 and 2011 to identify and improve measures of wellbeing in retirement.


AFGW Fellowship:

Ms Jana McCaskill was the successful winner of the Fellowship for her project as part of her PhD “The development and delivery of novel therapeutics for the treatment of acute respiratory viral infection”.

She was awarded a Bachelor of Science with first class Honours from The University of Queensland in 2009 for her work on the immunosuppressive properties of Koala retrovirus. Concurrently with her work towards a PHD in Medical Science, she is currently undertaking a Graduate Certificate in Higher Education, mentors and tutors undergraduate science students at The University of Queensland and is involved in the CSIRO Scientists in Schools program. Jana is also engaged in committees for Women in Technology, the Australian Society of Medical Research and AusBiotech. Outside of science, she is a senior national umpire for Softball Australia.

Jana started her PhD studies at The University of Queensland Diamantina Institute in 2010, investigating novel therapeutics for acute respiratory viral infections. The primary focus of her antiviral research is Hendra virus, a highly pathogenic virus of Queensland and New South Wales that currently has no vaccine or post exposure therapy available. This research has resulted in a potential therapeutic agent that uses an innovative approach to treat viruses, by combining direct suppression of viral replication with immune system recruitment to the site of infection. The AFGW fellowship will enable Ms McCaskill to test her novel therapy against Hendra virus in collaboration with the CSIRO Australian Animal Health Laboratory.


Georgina Sweet Fellowship:

The successful candidate was Christina Kenny: for her project “Legal and cultural frameworks of consent – an examination of the sexual experiences of Kenyan women in a new constitutional age.” Her research focuses on gender and sexual rights in sub-Saharan Africa, drawing on case study material from Nairobi, Kenya. She will explore the relationship between international human rights instruments and norms, local women’s experience of sex, and their conception and expressions of sexuality. She will interrogate concepts of consent in culturally specific local contexts, in order to better understand the capacities and limitations of implementing universalised human rights frameworks. These frameworks include international human rights conventions such as the Convention on the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women; regional human rights instruments such as the African Charter on Human and People’s Rights, and case law from national courts.

Although there is already some research examining the “perceptions of men and women’s sexual rights and whether women can refuse to have sex with their partners” in the African context (Awusabo-Asare, Anarfi & Agyeman 1993; Rajani & Kudrati 1996), little work has explored the broader issue of African women’s sexuality and sexual rights.

This work is vital for informing policies around women’s health issues, the distribution and acceptability of condom use; community understandings of sexually transmitted infections (STIs); and the incidence and contexts of sexual assault.

Interviews and historical research examining the attitudes of women to their bodies, their sexual partners and the roles of women in their communities will be the subject of Christina’s research. This work is intended to contribute significantly to the understanding of women’s perspectives on their own sexual activity, sexual health education, and their attitudes toward police and health professionals.

Kenya offers a unique opportunity to examine the impacts of human rights norms on local women’s experience – the new Kenyan Constitution was promulgated in August 2010, and contains an entrenched Bill of Rights at Chapter 4. The Bill of Rights provides for equal treatment of people regardless of gender, and explicitly promotes affirmative action in order to give full effect to the realization of the rights contained within the Constitution. Christina’s field work will examine the effectiveness of this new national incorporation of international human rights principles on the lived experience of Kenyan women.


AFGW Fellowship:

The successful applicant was Tanya Josev, who is pursuing a PhD at Melbourne University, has degrees in both Arts and Law, and in both achieved outstanding results. She was also an editor of the Melbourne University Law Review.

Following her graduation, she worked for two years as the associate for Justice Alan Goldberg, a highly respected member of the Federal Court of Australia. Her project is a study of the debate over judicial activism in Australia. Tanya’s work has parallels with the public discourse of Australian neoconservatism, which has drawn on American precedents. Tanya has explored its earlier use, with a quite different valency, by the historian Arthur Schlesinger Jr, and his relations with Justice Felix Frankfurter of the Supreme Court. That in turn has taken her to the role played by Owen Dixon, a member of the High Court of Australia who was head of the Australian legation in the United States during the Second World War. Dixon’s position is still commonly the point of reference for Australian critics of judicial activism. It is for this reason that Tanya wishes to pursue her research in the United States. She has arranged to work on Schlesinger papers in the New York Public Library, and has arranged interviews with members of the American Constitutions Society, which has been closely involved in the American debate on judicial activism. She has also secured admission to New York University in its Global Fellows Doctoral Researcher Program, where she would work with Professor Barry Friedman.


The Georgina Sweet Fellowship was awarded to Sara Midgley, a graduate in Physics from the University of Western Sydney and the Australian National University, enrolled in a PhD in theoretical physics at the Australian Centre for Quantum-Atom Optics within the University of Queensland. The Fellowships Officer’s report stated:

Her thesis on Macroscopic correlations and entanglement in quantum-atom optics involves research in the rapidly developing field of ultra-cold quantum gases. Part of her work, dealing with quantum-optical systems, is being done in collaboration with the University of Virginia, regarded as a leader in the field. The Bursary will help finance a visit to the University of Virginia and/or to the prestigious, invitation-only, Les Houches international summer school for PhD and post-doctoral researchers in Singapore.

Sarah’s personal statement in support of her application very much exemplified the AFUW principle of using one’s education to participate in public life:

One of my passions is to encourage students at all stages of their education to pursue their interest in science at university. As a female and a researcher in physics I also believe I have a responsibility to demonstrate that, although currently under-represented, women can pursue active careers in physics research. To contribute directly to fostering awareness and interest in science, I helped form and subsequently joined the UQ Chapter of the OSA (Optical Society of America). I have held the position of Vice-President of the UQ Chapter since 2007. Through this group I have been able to organise a physics outreach program for primary and high school students. This year we will travel to remote schools in the Northern Territory and Far-North Queensland to share some exciting optics experiments and ideas with students. As part of my role as Vice-President of the UQ Chapter I have also organised two workshops for PhD students at Stradbroke Island and towards the end of 2008 I helped organise a 60 student conference on optics and laser applications for NZ and Australian PhD students.

The Beryl Henderson Memorial Grant was made to Evelyne Deplazes, a PhD student at the University of Western Australia whose research project of investigating membrane channel proteins that allow ions to pass across cell walls in order to facilitate electrical signalling between cells should ultimately contribute to an understanding of the biochemical nature of depression and its effects on the human brain and thus further the development of better treatment options. She proposed to use the grant

to assist her to attend the Summer School on “Simulation Approaches to Problems in Molecular and Cellular Biology” in San Sebastian, Spain and to work within the research group of Professor Marrink at the University of Groningen.


AFUW Fellowship:

The AFUW Fellowship was awarded to Gretel Png, a PhD student in Electrical and Electronic Engineering at the University of Adelaide. Gretel qualifications included an Honours degree in Engineering from the University of Edinburgh and an MSc from the University of California. She was the recipient of the AFUW-SA Daphne Elliott Bursary in 2007.

The Fellowships Officer reported:

The research for Greta’s thesis, Teraherz Modelling and Spectroscopy of Biotissue, focuses on the area of medical terahertz spectroscopy. Terahertz radiation is a type of electromagnetic radiation that spans the gap between microwave and infrared radiation, sharing some of the properties of each, but offering additional benefits. Gretel is investigating whether terahertz radiation can be used to study changes in molecular structure of small proteins called peptides. These accumulate naturally in the brain as part of the normal aging process, but it is thought that some peptides undergo structural transitions and become inhibitors in the brain, blocking synapses and eventually causing degenerative brain disorders such as Alzheimer’s Disease. Using THz spectroscopy to study simple cultured peptide structures, she has shown that THz can be used to observe simple structural changes in peptides. This outcome has important implications: it means that THz spectroscopy has the potential for (i) studying more complex peptide structures, (ii) understanding the differences between healthy and diseased brain tissues and (iii) identifying potential antigens that could be used to slow, stop or alter unwanted structural changes in brain peptides which lead to degenerative diseases.

Georgina Sweet Fellowship:

The Georgina Sweet Fellow was Romina Rader. The Fellowships Officer reported:

Regina holds a Bachelor of Environmental Science from the University of New South Wales, an MSc from James Cook University and is currently working on her PhD thesis, Insect Pollinators in Natural and Agricultural Systems, in the School of Marine and Tropical Biology at James Cook. Her project, which concerns pollinating insects in natural and agricultural ecosystems, has implications for increased understanding of factors influencing biodiversity in natural and modified ecosystems in tropical Australia, as shown in her short summary of the project: Pollinator decline was recently the subject of an Australian parliamentary inquiry due to the collapse of honeybee populations worldwide. Honeybees, however are not the only pollinators of Australian agricultural crops and recent research has revealed that other native insects may also provide crop pollinating services. This research demonstrates that native bees, flies and beetles in north Queensland are effective pollen carriers providing a service to farmers that has until recently gone unnoticed.

Romina has gained international recognition for her work in this area. In 2003 she was an intern at the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute in Panama and a Smithsonian Institution Link Foundation Fellow at the Smithsonian Marine Station in Florida. She has also carried out similar research in the South Island of New Zealand.

The E.M. Hinder Award:

The E.M. Hinder Award to enable fieldwork in South East Asia was made for a final time in 2008. The winner was Carly Starr, pictured on the cover of Graduate Women Number 152 at work in the night-time forests of Cambodia with the subject of her research, the Cambodian pigmy loris. The Fellowships Officer reported:

Carly’s PhD studies in the School of Animal Studies at the University of Queensland aim to assess to assess the distribution and abundance of pygmy lorises in Cambodia through a field study of their behavioural ecology and also to assess their importance and use in trade for traditional medicines. The

award will enable her to purchase radiotelemetry equipment to improve her fieldwork in Cambodia, present her research at an international conference and meet with genetic experts at Oxford University.

Carly, who speaks Khmer, has been working in Cambodia since 2004, volunteering as a Biodiversity Conservation Research Support Officer in an AusAid project that aims to provide assistance in developing the first postgraduate biodiversity conservation course in Cambodia. She is also training local biologists and working with and employing local people on the project.

The Beryl Henderson Memorial Grant:

The award for 2008 was made to Louise Ewing. The report on the award stated:

Louise holds a Masters degree from the University of Western Australia where she is studying mechanisms underlying face perception in Autism Spectrum Disorder for a PhD. Advancing knowledge of the nature of face processing impairments in ASD by a comparison of those being assessed for ASD with children who display normal development should cut the current long waiting times for diagnosis. Louise’s PhD supervisor is in the UK and the award will enable her to travel to Bristol to consult him face-to-face. Louise was also awarded an AFUW-WA Bursary, which she will use to pay for training to administer research assessments, something essential to her project.


AFUW Fellowship:

The Fellow ships Officer reported that Jennifer Giles, winner of the AFUW Fellowship: holds a B.Env.Sc. (Hons) and a B.A. in Indonesian Studies from the University of New South Wales and is currently enrolled in PhD studies at the University of Queensland in the School of Integrative Biology in the Faculty of Biological and Chemical Sciences. Her thesis title is Characterising the Australian contribution to the Indo-Pacific shark fin trade: a DNA-based method to assign species and geographic origin to unknown fins.

In 2000 and 2004 Jennifer was awarded grants to carry out work in the field of fisheries ecology and genetics and scientific liaison in Indonesia. Her current research aims:

To pinpoint specific Australian stocks contributing to the fin trade and identify those at highest risk of over-exploitation;

To provide a quantitative study on the species compositions and trade movement of selected species of Australian shark material in South East Asian markets; and

To provide harvest estimates to support conservation listing of species experiencing massive regional declines and/or known to be heavily exploited and at high risk of over-exploitation.

The research will have an ongoing role in policing the international movement of fins for species listed in CITES appendices and EPBC Act 1999, and simultaneously collecting data to assess the status of Australian shark and ray stocks; providing a framework to allow prosecution of illegal shark fishers in Australian waters for possession of protected species and populations; and providing a method whereby regional managers can identify, at any stage of processing, almost any shark material occurring in the Indo-Pacific trade.

Georgina Sweet Fellowship:

The Fellowships Officer reportedthat Rebecca Monson, winner of the 2007 Georgina Sweet Fellowship:

holds BA and LLB degrees from Monash University and is currently enrolled for her PhD at the ANU College of Law. The title of her thesis is Land Rights of Melanesian Women: problems and prospects. She has already published several articles, the latest being Law and Order: Legal Solutions to Civil Insecurity in Solomon Islands and Vanuatu. A forthcoming article with co-author Dr Daniel Fitzpatrick, Reader and Associate Professor at the ANU Law School is entitled Improving

international Peace Operations: Responses to Housing, Land and Property Issues in Post-Conflict Countries.

The core concern of Rebecca’s PhD research is the manner in which statutory and customary tenure systems in Vanuatu and Solomon Islands shape women’s access to land in peri-urban areas, and the effect of increased formalisation (for example by registration of customary boundaries and ownership ) on that access. It draws on research and experience elsewhere in the world which suggests that although customary law is often accused of discriminating against women, women’s rights are not always enhanced or protected by the formal law either.

The research supported by the Fellowship will be undertaken under the auspices of ANU but will also involve key individuals from the University of the South Pacific and key social, cultural and developmental institutions in Vanuatu and Solomon Islands and from AusAID in Australia and the Pacific.

The Beryl Henderson Memorial Grant

The 2007 winner was Malinda Steenkamp. The report of the award said:

Melinda’s PhD project at Flinders University is ‘to investigate the application of existing population health data in informing improvements to services delivery and health outcomes for mothers and infants in two remote Aboriginal communities in the Top End of the Northern Territory (NT)’. Malinda, who has extensive publications in public health, holds an M. Phil (Epidemiology) from the University of Cape Town, a B. A. (Hons) in Psychology from the University of South Africa, a Bachelor of Nursing from Stellenbosch University, and is a registered midwife. She is a Research Associate in the School for Social and Policy Research, Institute of Advanced Studies at Charles Darwin University and Co-ordinator of the Masters of Remote Health Practice topic Public Health Principles and Practice at the Centre for Remote Health in Alice Springs, a joint project of Flinders and Charles Darwin universities. The grant will help with the travelling she has to undertake between Adelaide and the Northern Territory.


AFUW Fellowship:

Graduate Women announced the award of the AFUW Fellowship to:

Eryn Werry, a graduate of the University of Sydney in Advanced Science, who is in the third year of her PhD in Sydney’s Faculty of Medicine’s Neurobiology Laboratory. Her research is investigating a potential role for glial cells in chronic pain, a syndrome where pain persists after healing of the initial injury. Neuroscience has, for most of its history, concentrated on the functioning of neurons, regarded as the cells in the brain allowing humans to think move and feel. Glial and other brain cells have been considered to play a supportive role, helping neurons to function optimally. Recently, however, glia are being considered as playing a more active role in processing information in the brain and functioning as novel effectors of a number of neurological problems. One such problem is chronic pain. Eryn’s research involves isolating glial cells and exposing them to different chemicals known to be released in the brain in chronic pain patients in order to measure whether or not glial cells respond in pain-enhancing manners to these chemicals.


Georgina Sweet Fellowship:

Graduate Women announced the award of the AFUW Fellowship to:

Suzanne Morrison, a PhD candidate in the Department of Botany and Zoology at the ANU, who will use her award to help fund her field work in Fiji, where she is studying an endangered species, the Fijian Crested Iguana. She describes the purpose of her project thus: By studying the natural history of these lizards and the ecosystem they inhabit I aim to provide a sound basis for a conservation management program. Having gained an understanding of the feeding, breeding and habitat requirements of iguanas across the seasons suitable sites for reintroductions can be identified and steps

taken to slow and hopefully reverse their slide towards extinction. My work here forms part of a conservation continuum, not the beginning and certainly not the end as the Pacific like the rest of our planet faces an increasing number of environmental challenges. Conservation biologists, environmental educators, international development consultants and . . .well . . . pretty much everyone will have a part to play.

Beryl Henderson Grant

The award was made to Lisa Lyons. Details as yet unavailable


AFUW Fellowship:

Graduate Women reported that AFUW Fellowship Winner Kirstin Barchia:

is enrolled in a PhD in Clinical Psychology in the Faculty of Psychology at Macquarie University. Her research concerns aggression and bullying in high schools in Sydney. Kirstin says that at present bullying represents a significant problem in schools, with devastating consequences for both the victim and the perpetrator, yet teachers and students are often reluctant to get involved in intervention programs. The study aims to establish the psychological processes involved in bullying, victimisation and helping behaviours, so as to better understand why bullying occurs and how students and teachers can be encouraged to intervene.

It has been proven that children who are bullied are three times more likely to develop depressive illnesses than those who are not bullied. Kirstin’s research will be used to develop a broader intervention program which focuses not only on helping the bully and victim but also those children who watch the bullying but don’t participate The focus will be on attenuating bullying and also promoting prosocial conduct (caring for and helping others);

Kirstin is a leader of a community based youth group and the leader of the Special Religious Education Team at Barrenjoey High School. She initiated and coordinated the Pittwater Area Schools Worker Christian Association, a community based charitable organisation for the purposes of employing a youth worker in the local high schools.


Georgina Sweet Fellowship:

Graduate Women reported that Georgina Sweet Fellow Lisa Stadtmueller:

is an American citizen, born in Argentina. She obtained a B.A. in Chemistry from Taylor University, Indiana and subsequently an M.Sc. in Chemistry from DePaul University, Chicago, Illinois. Currently she is enrolled in the first year of a PhD in the School of Chemistry at the University of Sydney. Her research is in the area of Materials Science/ Nano-technology. The new science of Nanotechnology has dramatically impacted the field of MaterialScience, enabling the manipulation of matter as small as one billionth of a metre, and producing materials with outstanding performance capabilities. One area of nano-technology research, the study of Polymer Layered Silicate Nanocomposites (PLSN), involves the distribution of individual silicate layers (approximately 1 nanometre to 100 nanometres in size) throughout a plastic (polymer ) matrix. PLSN is an innovative technology that has produced increases in the tensile strength and stiffness of polymers by as much as tenfold. The field of dental material research has to date not used the potential of PLSN for dental restorative material enhancement. Lisa’s research aims to merge PLSN technology with the current advances in dental restorative materials in order to develop a new material with enhanced strength and durability. The development of novel materials requires detailed analysis of the underlying chemical principles and the use of advanced instrumentation to successfully develop a novel product. This instrumentation is available at the Australian Key Centre for Microscopy and Microanalysis where Lisa has been offered a part time position as Associate Lecturer, which will provide unique teaching and writing experiences to prepare for future employment in academia. In addition this new research will open avenues for

establishing professional relationships with key researchers in a highly competitive male-dominated field.

Lisa has employment experience in Research and Development and in the field of Environmental Science. In addition she has published extensively and has patented consumable and professional dental products. Lisa is a member of AFUW-NSW, the American Chemical Society and the International Association of Dental Researchers.


AFUW Fellowship:

Renee Johnson, winner of the AFUW Fellowship, reported to the Fellowships Convener that she was putting her Fellowship funds to use acquiring new research techniques at the Ferring Research Institute in San Diego USA. Ms Johnson’s research is focused on the control of human labour. The general aim of her project is to identify factors in the initiation of term and pre-term births. In particular she is looking at a group of hormones called postaglandins that play a role in the onset and progression of labour, in order to understand how their levels arc controlled in term and pre-term labour. Pre-term birth occurs in 7-10% of a1l births and is the leading cause of perinatal mortality and morbidity. It is a major cost to the community, including both prenatal and postnatal care for mother and baby, as well as the ensuing disabilities suffered by some pre-tem infants who require lifelong treatment.

The new technique in which she is being trained is the use of Surface Enhanced Laser Desorption/ Ionisation Time of Flight Mass (or SELDI-TOF MS as it is more commonly known) to separate and identify proteins from complex biological samples such as blood and urine. By applying this technique to a number of different types of samples such as blood, cord blood, urine and tissue samples, including placenta and fetal membranes, Ms Johnson expects to be able to identify key proteins in these tissues that differ between term and pre-term pregnancies. This technology has been previously used successfully to identify markers of diseases such as prostate, breast and ovarian cancer and Alzheimer’s disease. She believes that it wi1l also be successful in unraveling the mysteries of term and pre-term labour. Specifically, this research will promote the prevention of pre-term labour in two ways:

Providing a rapid screening method to identify women likely to go into, or already in, pre-term labour;

Identifying targets for the prevention of pre-term labour.

The E.M. Hinder Award:

Graduate Women reported that the recipient of the E. M. Hinder Award, Catherine Earl: holds an Honours Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Melbourne and a Graduate Diploma in Asian Languages (Vietnamese) from Victoria University of Technology where she is enrolled for a PhD in the School of Social Sciences. Her PhD topic is Women, Obligation and Play: Gender and Social Change in Southern Vietnam. She is particularly concerned with young women who are migrants from rural Vietnam to Ho Chi Minh City and the dilemmas they face when opportunities for career development encounter pressures about what constitutes appropriate expressions of femininity. Her investigation of societal attitudes employs both ethnographic interviewing and anthropologic techniques such as participant observation. She believes that her research will contribute to the recognition of women’s role in social change in Vietnam and will provide vital information to local and international participants in national development agencies.

Catherine’s work is well advanced, and she has already had two papers accepted for international conferences later this year. The E. M. Hinder Bursary will enable her to collect printed materials, books, media and other items representative of contemporary women’s issues which are available only in Vietnam, and to conduct interviews which will update and extend those conducted in her initial fieldwork trip in 2001. Her referees agree that this is an essential step in the completion of her project.


Georgina Sweet Fellowship:

The Fellowships Convener reported on the award to Nikola Streiber, a PhD student enrolled in Biological Science at University of Sydney:

Nikola is a first class honours graduate of the Rheinische Freidrich-Wilhelms-Universitaet, Bonn. Her project involves collaboration with the Royal Botanic Gardens at the National Herbarium in Sydney, where she is currently based. The goal of Nikola’s project is to revise the phylogenetic classification of Laminaceae, using a robust set of molecular and morphological characters. This study concentrates on one of the larger groups of endemic mints found in Australia – the tribe Chloantheae. It consists of about 120 species in ten genera (Brachysola, Chloanthes, Cyanostegia, Dicrastylis, Lachnostachys, Mallophora, Newcastelia, Physopsis and Pityrodia).Generic and species boundaries within the Chloantheae will be determined using molecular DNA sequences (chloroplast and nuclear) as well as morphological characters (floral, vegetative and micro-anatomical structures). This research will produce the first comprehensive evolutionary classification of the Chloantheae, which can be used by the community as well as all other branches of science that depend on the correct identification and taxonomic placement of species.

Nikola commenced her project in October 2000 and has made excellent progress. She will use the AFUW funds for the sequencing costs of the molecular part of her project (DNA sequencing).


AFUW Fellowship: Winner not yet identified


Georgina Sweet Fellowship:

Graduate Women reported on the award of the Fellowship to Gerda Trutnovsky, a graduate of the medical school of the University of Graz, enrolled in the Master of Medicine (Sexual Health) degree offered by the Department of Public Health at the University of Sydney:

Her general interest is in the role of social, psychological and biological factors in the development of disease, with a special focus on the epidemiology and public health aspects of HIV and other sexually transmitted diseases. Her current research project investigates the use of complementary therapies by patients being treated at two Sydney clinics for chlamydia infection, genital herpes, genital warts and vulvodynia. In reporting on the progress of the project in 2000, she said that the conclusions reached were that patients with chronic symptoms of these conditions often sought complementary therapies, and that acknowledgement and open discussion of this could ultimately lead to better patient care by helping patients make informed decisions, avoid drug interactions and other complications. She hoped to use this information in Austria, where postgraduate studies in the field of STD and sexual health were rare.


AFUW Fellowship:

The 1998 AFUW Fellowship winner was Ann Marie Elijah, a PhD student at the University of Melbourne. In reporting in 1999 she said that her fellowship had allowed her to undertake field work in the United Kingdom, where she was able to conduct interviews and gain access to material unavailable in Australia, to contribute to her thesis ‘Australian foreign policy and British membership of the European Union’. The thesis traced the consequences of Britain’s accession in 1971 to the European Economic Community and their effects on Australian foreign policy and trade.


Georgina Sweet Fellowship: Winner not yet identified


AFUW Fellowship:

The Fellowship was awarded to Jacqueline Broad, a PhD candidate in the Philosophy Department of Monash University, the title of her projected thesis being Impertinencies from a Woman’s Pen: Feminist Metaphysics in the Seventeenth Century. She used the award to obtain access to manuscripts, letters and diaries by Anne Conway, Mary Astell, Damaris Masham, and Elizabeth Burnet, available in the British Museum and Bodleian Libraries, but not in Australia.

E. M. Hinder Award:

The inaugural winner of the E.M. Hinder Award was Pip Nicholson, a PhD candidate in the Faculty of Law at the University of Melbourne. Her PhD topic was Vietnamese Court Development since 1945, and the award enabled her to make a field trip to Vietnam to interview judges and legal professionals and to locate original statutes and legislation and enable their translation.


Georgina Sweet Fellowship:

Rajshree Jetly, from New Delhi, a PhD candidate at the Australian National University was awarded the 1995 Georgina Sweet Fellowship. Her research topic, Nation Building in South Asia: Case Studies of the Punjab Movement in India and the Baluch Movement in Pakistan, examined secessionist movements within a theoretical framework.

In describing the purpose of her project, she said: ‘I hope to contribute to the understanding of ethnic movements and nation building in South Asia in order to promote peace and harmony in the region’.


AFUW Fellowship:

Awarded to Vicki Hall, a PhD candidate at James Cook University. Her research topic Injury Regimes and Regeneration in Reef-Crest Corals involved an empirical investigation of different types of damage to different types of coral polyps and their ability to repair such damage. She hoped that this would provide base-line information for the management of human activity on the Great Barrier Reef as well as advancing knowledge of the evolutionary ecology of corals.


Georgina Sweet Fellowship:

Awarded to Connie Price, a PhD candidate in the School of Physiotherapy at Curtin University. Her research topic was Physical Activity, Function, Muscle, Performance and Learning in Community-Dwelling Older Adults. She hoped that her research would contribute to the development of community programs to ensure continuing quality of life for older Australians.


AFUW Fellowship:

Awarded to Phillipa Wicks, specializing in Women’s Studies within a Master of Divinity degree at Princeton, with a focus on religion and gender and women in ministry. A graduate of the Australian National University and research assistant in English at University College, Ms Wicks was allowed to take up her Fellowship at Princeton on the grounds that her area of study was unavailable in Australia at the time.


Georgina Sweet Fellowship:

Awarded to Imrana Patricia Jalal, a Fijian lawyer and Vice-President of the Fiji Association of University Women. Her MA in Women’s Studies at the University of Sydney examined how law related to the needs of women in developing countries.


AFUW Fellowship:

Awarded to Lorraine Green whose research on the social system of drug markets in Jersey City was conducted at the School of Criminal Justice of Rutgers University, New Jersey, USA.


Georgina Sweet Fellowship:

Awarded to Dr Karunakaran Nirmala of Madras, India for breast cancer research at the Prince of Wales Hospital, Sydney.


AFUW Fellowship:

The inaugural AFUW Fellowship was awarded to Julie Elizabeth Mercer, a PhD student of Monash University. The Fellowship enabled her to further her research in reproductive endocrinology by acquiring new techniques at the Fishberg Research Laboratory of the Mount Sinai Medical Centre, New York.


Georgina Sweet Fellowship:

Awarded to Hilary Winchester. Her research area was the location and characteristics of marginal groups in cities. In Australia her focus was on single parent families and new refugee groups from South-East Asia.


Georgina Sweet Fellowship:

Awarded to Dr Renate Duelli-Klein, a PhD Student in the Sociology of Education at the University of London. A graduate in Women’s Studies from Berkeley and an MSc from the University of Zurich, she took up her Fellowship at Deakin University.

1984: No award offered


Georgina Sweet Fellowship:

Awarded to Dr Nihal Azdemir of Turkey. A graduate in Pharmacy from the University of Istanbul, she took up the Fellowship at the Department of Microbiology in the University of Queensland, working on microbial utilisation of cellulosic wastes


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