Scholarship

The Bridget Whelan Scholarship is an annual award of $10,000 for female staffers in the Australian Labor Party. The purpose of the Scholarship is to assist female staffers with several years experience to extend and develop their skills and capacity and contribute further to the party – whether in policy, communications or leadership roles.

About the Bridget Whelan Scholarship

For female staffers in the Australian Labor Party.

Offered by the Elizabeth Reid Network.

The Bridget Whelan Scholarship is an annual award of $10,000 for female staffers in the Australian Labor Party. It is named in honour of the talented Bridget Whelan who worked in senior staffer roles in the NSW and Federal Labor governments between 2000-2011. 

Bridget worked as a Senior Adviser for Minister John Della Bosca and Premier Morris Lemma, and as a Chief of Staff for Attorney-General John Hatzistergos and Minister Mark Arbib. During her time in Government, Bridget ran the NSW Legislative program and helped secure the passage of a raft of important legislation. Throughout her years of service, Bridget worked hard to support, guide and mentor other female staffers.

Tragically, Bridget passed away from ovarian cancer in 2016.

FAQ's

The purpose of the Scholarship is to assist female staffers to extend and develop their skills and capacity and contribute further to the party in policy, communications and leadership roles.

The scholarship enables passionate and committed women who see a future for themselves as political advisers to broaden their knowledge and horizons at either a local, state or national level. Past recipients have also been supported to pursue opportunities internationally.

To be eligible for the Scholarship, female applicants must meet the minimum selection criteria of:

  • 3 or more years experience as a political adviser (at Federal or State level)
  • 2 or more years of work experience in another workplace
  • Australian citizen or resident

The successful applicant will also demonstrate the potential to contribute to the Labor Party as a mentor for younger female staffers at the completion of their Scholarship activities.

Up to $10,000 is awarded each year to an outstanding candidate who can use the funds to undertake travel, further education and training, or other activities that will prepare them to fill senior positions supporting Labor governments.
It is expected that scholarship funds are spent within 12 months of being awarded, and recipients submit a written report to the Elizabeth Reid Network for distribution to female staffers and others within the party to inform and inspire.

Applications open 25 March 2024
Applications close 13 May 2024
Recipient announced 29 May 2024
Recipient report 20 June 2025

Past winners

2022 recipient

Stephanie
Anderson

2021 recipient

Georgia
Betros

2019 recipient

Georgia
Goldsworthy​

2018 recipient

Rachel
Durrant

2017 recipient

Karelle
Logan

About Bridget Whelan

Bridget worked as a Senior Adviser for Minister John Della Bosca and Premier Morris Lemma, and as Chief of Staff for Attorney-General John Hatzistergos and Minister Mark Arbib.

During her time in Government, Bridget ran the NSW Legislative program and was responsible for a raft of important legislation. Bridget also worked hard to support, guide and mentor other female staffers.

In 2010, Bridget was diagnosed with Ovarian Cancer. After her diagnosis, she worked hard to raise awareness of Ovarian Cancer and worked closely with a number of cancer awareness organisations and research entities. In 2015, Bridget was awarded the Jeannie Ferris Cancer Australia Recognition Award for her commitment to improving outcomes for women with ovarian cancer.