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Curtin social work student awarded Hazel Hawke scholarship

Media release


A Curtin University Bachelor of Social Work student has been awarded the 2011 Hazel Hawke Scholarship.

Diane Welsh, 36, from Warnbro, a first-year mature age student based at the Bentley campus, will receive an annual cash payment of $1,000 each year to assist with studying expenses throughout the duration of the four-year degree.

Angela Fielding, Head of the Department of Social Work said that the grant was provided to mature age women whose finances wouldn’t usually allow them to study at university.

“Hazel Hawke was recognised for her strong interest and involvement with the community and social issues relating to family, the environment and arts,” Dr Fielding said.

“Hazel would be proud to know that the 2011 recipient has shown just as strong a commitment to the community here in Western Australia.

“Before commencing at Curtin University Diane worked for a women’s domestic violence refuge based in Bunbury.

“She is passionate about helping people in the local community and once she qualifies as a social worker she will be advocating for people’s rights on a daily basis.”

The 2011 scholarship recipient said that she felt honoured to have received the award.

“Studying full-time whilst supporting a family is going to be challenging financially.

“I can’t thank the university enough as the monies have already helped me purchase my text books for the year and I’ve also bought a printer that is going to make a difference to my studies.

“I’m looking forward to the opportunities that social work will provide, from empowering individuals and communities to supporting families.”

The scholarship is awarded annually on the basis of financial need, academic potential and commitment to the community and social issues.

Hazel Hawke, who turns 82 on July 20, has been an influential advocate for social work, receiving an AO in 2001 for her contributions to community development.


Teresa Belcher, Public Relations, Curtin University
Tel: 08 9266 9085; Email:, Web: