Scholarship recipients set to drive greater social impact

The Centre for Social Impact is delighted to announce its 2024 scholarship recipients, marking a decade of financial support for students who are committed to creating positive social change.

Scholarships totalling $151,000 have been awarded to 21 postgraduate students this year across CSI’s four partner universities. These scholarships recognise those who have shown outstanding dedication and leadership in developing and contributing to better social outcomes across Australia.

Dr. Lyndsey McKee , Acting CEO of the Centre for Social Impact applauded the scholarship recipients. “Every year, we're inspired by the passion, talent, and dedication to social progress of the students applying for our scholarships.

"Since our establishment, the Centre for Social Impact has prioritised accessibility in education," Dr. McKee noted. "We're proud to support these outstanding students and extend our deepest gratitude to our donors for their invaluable contributions."

It follows the recent announcement that the centre, Australia’s foremost provider of social impact education, has now distributed over $1million in scholarships to help ignite social change.

“Hitting a $1million milestone for scholarships awarded is a remarkable achievement. Our greatest pride, however, comes from seeing the impact our students are achieving. We see firsthand how our students and alumni are effecting positive change, enriching the lives of individuals, families, and communities. They harness the knowledge, skills, and networks cultivated through their studies at the Centre for Social Impact to drive transformative initiatives,” Dr McKee explained.

CSI Swinburne scholarship recipient, Bianca Stern , is the General Manager of a Melbourne-based social enterprise café that’s dedicated to employment inclusivity. Bianca emphasised the transformative impact of the scholarship on her professional journey.

“For me this scholarship and the professional development opportunity is invaluable. As a young professional in the non-profit sector, this scholarship has removed the economic barrier to education. I would not have had the capacity to participate in the Graduate Certificate in Social Impact at Swinburne without it.”

Kylie Penehoe, a proud Wonnarua and Wiradjuri woman undertaking a MBAX (Social Impact) at UNSW , has been recognised as this year’s CSI Board Scholar. Kylie is currently Executive Manager of First Nations Programs at AFL SportsReady and previously worked at Indigenous Land and Sea Corporation, a social enterprise that operates and invests in agricultural businesses on Indigenous-held land.

“Working part-time for a not-for-profit with minimal funding for professional development, this scholarship is a game-changer. As a mother of three, this eases the financial burden and allows me to focus on both my studies and family commitments. It makes an impact, not only on my career but also on the positive change our organisation strives to achieve in supporting young First Nations peoples,” Kylie said.

One of CSI UWA’s scholarship winners, Victoria Williams, is a lawyer who has dedicated her career of more than 30 years’ to improving the justice system with a particular focus on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.

“I have a deep desire to enhance my skills and knowledge to maximise sector-wide collaboration and improve social justice outcomes,” she said. “I have completed one unit of the Graduate Certificate in Social Impact and have already gained incredible insights about leadership and collaboration for social impact.”

Joining students from UNSW, University of Western Australia and Swinburne University of Technology, students from CSI Flinders are now among the scholarship winners for the first time. Each student has an inspiring story to tell including, Sofiann Saidi, who was raised in one of the “largest ghettos in France” and is now a Program Leader working at the Specialised Assistance School for Youth with the Department of Education, South Australia.

“I am the first in my family to pursue education beyond high school,” Sofiann said. “This scholarship has paved the way for a significant shift in my professional journey. This course holds the promise of equipping me with the knowledge and skills to make a lasting impact on the social issues I am deeply passionate about.”

Ee-Lin Chang has been awarded the Robin Crawford Memorial Scholarship, honouring the philanthropist and founding director of Macquarie Group who was one of the original funders in helping to set up the Centre for the Social Impact in 2008. Ee-Lin has 10 years’ experience working in reproductive and sexual health, and is currently a chief investigator in an NHMRC funded research project finding ways to improve cervical screening for people with intellectual disability.

“Thank you for supporting me, and others like me, who are striving to create positive social impact in their communities,” she said.

2024 Centre for Social Impact Scholarship recipients

Ee-Lin Chang (UNSW - Robin Crawford Memorial Scholarship)

Georgina Clark (Flinders)

Dafna Dar (UNSW)

Nanna Faulkner (UWA)

Kirsten Flint (UWA)

Elizabeth (Beth) Garwood (Flinders)

Jennifer King (Swinburne)

Christina Ly (UNSW)

Alison Martin (UWA)

Dearna Newchurch (Flinders)

Rebecca Nichols (UNSW)

Kylie Penehoe (UNSW – CSI Board Scholarship)

Sofiann Saidi (Flinders)

Zamarai Samim (Swinburne)

Bianca Stern (Swinburne)

Stephen Sverchek (Flinders)

(Provisia) Joy Villalino (Swinburne)

Jason Wallace (Flinders)

Victoria Williams (O’Connor) (UWA)

Carman Wilson (Flinders)

Juanita Wilson (UNSW - Indigenous Social Impact Scholarship)