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BPW Professional Development Grants

2016 Grant Awardee Laura Wratten


June 2016 Laura Wratten is our Grant Awardee. Laura was sponsored by BPW Coffs Harbour and awarded a BPW Australia Professional Development Grant, funded by the Agnes Robertson Fund. 

Laura used her award to contribute to her participation in the National Youth Science Forum, held at the Australian National University in January. Read Laura;s engaging report about her experiences at the NYSF. She has given a presentation to BPW Coffs Harbour. members.

 Congratulations go to Laura for her aspirations to lead in the sciences and for her enthusiastic participation at the NYSF.  We hope that Laura will be an inspiration to other young women considering a scientific career.  Read Laura’s report…

Left: Laura Wratten

(LtoR) Laura Wratten, Cheryl Ward and President Julianne McKeon at BPW Coffs Harbour International Night 2016 



History:

BPW Australia has for many decades operated a grants program focused on education opportunities and personal development.  The grants are funded through the Agnes Robertson Fund which was established in 1962 to honour the name of Senator Robertson, a former BPW Member.

Purpose:

BPW Australia Personal Development Grants are intended to provide assistance to girls and women (including BPW members) to continue their education in any field. That education may be acquired from attending a special event, a seminar, a course or a conference, provided the attendee will benefit from the opportunity and can show they will be able to apply the knowledge they gain.

Assistance may take the form of funds for

·        books and / or equipment for education purposes

·        payment of fees

·        travel to access an education opportunity

·        education and professional development purposes.

Preference is given to those women who are disadvantaged in some way and would not otherwise be able to access the opportunity for which the grant is sought. 

Categories of grants:

Three categories of grants are offered: for members, for non-members and for clubs

  • 1.     Grants for members, open all year, to finance activities linked directly to their career development and up to $1000.
  • ·        5 grants each year.
  • 2.     Grants to non-members, targeting low income women, for education or training, open for applications twice a year, up to $1,000, and a complementary BPW membership in the current membership year. Two grants each year.
  • ·        2 grants each year.
  • 3.     Grants to BPW clubs to provide training or professional development opportunities for members (and guests in circumstances where there are insufficient member numbers), open for applications twice a year, capped at $2,000, involve at least 10 trainees who must contribute at least $25 for the training.
  • ·        2 grants each year.

Annual grants expenditure from the Fund is capped at $11,000pa, reviewed annually. For the 2015-16 year, while strategies to build the fund are being introduced, grants will be limited to 3 for members, 1 for non-members and 1 for clubs – totalling $6000. 

The Committee:

The BPW Australia Personal Development Grants Committee consists of the

·        A State Representative who will be the Chair

·        The BPWA Director of Membership

·        A Young BPW Award holder

·        The BPWA Director of Finance (ex officio)

·        The BPWA National President (ex officio)

The National President or BPW Australia Board may appoint an alternative member from time to time.

Queries can be directed to:    

BPWA Director of Membership Perla Soberon-Brittle  dirmembership@bpw.com.au

 Procedure approved by the BPW Australia Board meeting July 2015

Applying for grants:

A club or a State Representative may submit an application to the BPW Australia Personal Development Grants Committee on behalf of a woman or girl or a group of women who need financial assistance for a purpose approved under the grants program.

Recipients will be asked to provide a short report on the value of the award to them, and to provide approval for it to be used for promotional purposes on the website and in printed materials.

The following procedure applies:

1.     The club or State Representative emails the completed application form [available on the BPWA website], with any attachments which may be required in support of the application and for which there is insufficient space on the form, to the BPWA Executive Secretary (secretary@bpw.com.au).

  • ·        The application must be signed by the Club President or the State Representative and one other Executive Officer, and the applicant.
  • ·        Where the applicant may not yet be identified, the application can be submitted without her signature. However, before the funds are distributed, there must be an application signed by the intended recipient.

2.     The Executive Secretary forwards the application to the Personal Development Grants Committee for assessment and recommendation.

3.     The Personal Development Grants Committee assesses whether the application is consistent with the stated purpose of the grant sought as detailed in these guidelines, and confirms with the Director of Finance that the funds are available.

4.     The Chair of the Personal Development Grants Committee advises the BPWA President of the Committee’s recommendation within one month of the receipt of the application.

5.     The applying club or State Representative is advised of the success or otherwise of their application by the Chair of the Personal Development Grants Committee.

6.     Once the decision has been confirmed, and the correct documentation received, the Director of Finance arranges the payment of funds either by direct deposit or by cheque to the Club or State Representative for presentation to the recipient.

7.     The decision of the Personal Development Grants Committee is final, and no discussion will be entered into regarding the decision.




Agnes Robertson

The Agnes Robertson Fund:

The Agnes Robertson Fund is a finite fund, built from donations from members and clubs supplemented by interest earned. Donations to the Fund paid through the BPW account held by the National Foundation for Australia Women are tax deductible. BPW Australia is seeking DGR status for the Fund to enable tax deductible donations to be paid directly.

Clubs are encouraged to host an annual fundraising activity for the Fund. From 2016, $10 from each member’s annual membership fee will be allocated to the Agnes Robertson Fund. Members will be invited to make an additional donation when they renew their membership.


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