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.

Scholarships

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 goal is to produce law graduates who are job-ready and who have access to professional employment at the conclusion of their degree.

The Trust

The Trust is a joint project of barrister Clare Thompson and Women Lawyers of WA. The Chief Justice of Australia, the Hon Justice Robert French AC is our patron and the directors of the trust are Clare Thompson, immediate 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 deductable 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 Chief Justice of WA, the Hon Wayne Martin, the Chief Judge of the District Court, His Honour Peter Martino, the Director of Public Prosecutions for WA Joe McGrath SC, the Director of the Legal Aid Commission, George Turnbull and Freehills, all of whom have committed to providing vacation clerkships to scholarship holders.

We also acknowledge and thank Jenni Hill at Norton Rose, 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.

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

Scholarship criteria 

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.

The applicants must be:

  • An Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander woman who usually resides in the State of Western Australia and who is a citizen or permanent resident of Australia.
  • She must be eligible to be, or be, enrolled as a student in a university in Western Australia in a course which is a bachelor's degree or higher qualification in the study of law.
  • She must be eligible for AbStudy, AusStudy, and / or Youth Allowance etc.
  • She must be motivated to undertake and be committed to her programme of studies.
  • She must be able to demonstrate enthusiasm and willingness for the proposed course of studies and have a drive to achieve her degree.
  • She must have the potential to be a leader in the wider Indigenous or Australian community.

Applications are encouraged from women who have particular disadvantage arising from distance, educational history, age or family circumstances or for any other reason.

Please see the attached FLYER for full information on how to apply.

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