If you feel passionately about a particular field of study or subject, or about educational disadvantage, you may wish to create a named scholarship, prize or grant.

Many of our donors have established scholarships in the name of a parent or loved one, as a lasting memorial which will continue to change lives and to help new generations to reach their potential.

A named scholarship requires a minimum commitment of $5,000 per year for three years.

Larger gifts can be used towards establishing perpetual funds, to enable the scholarship to make an ongoing contribution now and into the future. Please contact us to discuss the level of gift required to establish this fund.

If you are interested in creating a sponsored or named scholarship, prize or grant for a specific area of the University please contact Darren Garbin, Advancement Officer (Corporate and Named Scholarships) at , Ph: 8302 7030.

Irene and David Davy Scholarship for Advancement of Aboriginal Education

Catherine McLaren Davy Family representative, Shauna Henty with Sarah Smith (pictured right), 2015 recipient of the Irene and David Davy Scholarship.

The Irene and David Davy Scholarship is open to Aboriginal students in the final year of an undergraduate program. The scholarship came about through a bequest by Irene and David Davy, two South Australians whose own limited formal education did not stop them from encouraging others to follow their academic goals. Through the development of the scholarship, members of the Davy family have successfully continued Irene and David's legacy.

In 2015 Sarah Smith was awarded the Irene and David Davy Scholarship for Advancement of Aboriginal Education, which financially supports Aboriginal final-year or Honours students who are also engaged in community service.

“I greatly appreciate my scholarship and I’m extremely grateful for the support. The scholarship provides not only financial support, but also emotional encouragement and allows me to focus on my studies,” Sarah says.


A decade of Cowan Grants benefits 141 UniSA students

Cowan Grant first partnered with the University of South Australia in 2005 and since that time 141 UniSA students have received a Cowan grant.

Cowan Grant was established in 1994 by Marnie Cowan and her son Bob, following the death of Marnie’s husband, Bill Cowan. Bob was an inaugural Trustee and remains Chairman but it is now a family affair: a passion shared throughout the generations.

The private philanthropic trust is dedicated to helping financially disadvantaged students gain a higher education. It particularly supports initiatives that help students from rural and regional areas, students with disability, and initiatives that involve international travel and adventure.

Earlier this year, Cowan Grant celebrated $2 million in support to tertiary students via contributions to a range of organisations across Australia. The University of South Australia would like to congratulate Cowan Grant on this truly commendable and extremely generous milestone.

In 2015 the following Cowan Grants were offered at the University of South Australia:

  • Cowan Young Endeavour Grant – providing financially disadvantaged students aged between 16 and 23 years with a voyage aboard the Young Endeavour
  • Cowan Regional Grants – awarded to financially disadvantaged students commencing study at UniSA’s regional campuses at Mt Gambier
  • Cowan Ability Grants – awarded to students with disability, to help them manage the additional expenses associated with studying with disabilities
  • Cowan Travel Grants – assisting Occupational Therapy students with the expenses associated with undertaking a placement in Cambodia as part of the KPF Cambodia Project.

Ralston Medal for Excellence in Physical Chemistry

John Ralston

The Ralston Medal for Excellence in Physical Chemistry acknowledges excellence and innovation in the application of physical chemistry which benefits the minerals and pharmaceutical industries. The award recognises the most outstanding journal article in the field of Physical Chemistry published in the last five years.

The Ralston Medal honours Emeritus Laureate Professor John Ralston AO FAA FTSE and his significant contribution, over more than 30 years, to research in particle technology, interfacial science and engineering. In 2007, Professor Ralston was honoured as South Australian of the Year and also South Australian Scientist of the Year. The following year, he was made an Officer of the Order of Australia.

This prestigious award has been made possible by the generosity of Professor Ralston’s colleagues, associates and friends.

Norton Jackson Material Science and Engineering Medal

Norton Jackson

The Norton Jackson Material Science and Engineering Medal is a fitting tribute to a man who made a distinguished contribution to the knowledge and understanding of the mining industry.

A graduate of the university’s antecedent institution the School of Mines and Industries, the late Norton Jackson was a lifelong supporter and good friend of the University of South Australia.

The Medal and cash prize of $5,000, reflecting Norton's passion and achievements, is awarded annually to the PhD graduate or graduand who has demonstrated the most potential or real application of research in industry. Examples of this include versatility in application of science to the materials industry and diagnosis and solution of diversified materials problems.

Sheila Bailey

Sheila Bailey with scholarship recipient Courtney MeierSheila (pictured left) is a UniSA employee and a valued UniSA donor who has established three annual student prizes in her name. Sheila finances these prizes through workplace giving, and she has also left a bequest to the University in her Will.

Sheila established the Sheila Bailey Early Childhood Education Prize in 2008 followed by the Sheila Bailey Nursing and Midwifery Prize in 2010 and the Sheila Bailey Physiotherapy Prize which was awarded for the first time in 2011.

In return, Sheila enjoys meeting her prize recipients at the awards ceremony and participating in events specifically organised for the Chancellor’s Club, UniSA’s bequestor and major donor group.

“It’s rewarding to be able to assist with overcoming some of the hurdles students face in attending university. I had dreamt of becoming a teacher, before discovering a rewarding career at UniSA, and so it’s wonderful to be able to help hard-working students achieve their own career dreams”

Kirsten Osborne The scholarship I received helped me to buy resources I used in my final placement and currently use still. My placement in the Northern suburbs was the greatest learning experience of my life, and I feel lucky to have been given the opportunity to work with students where I once went to school too.

– Kirsten Osborne
David Pank Northern Areas Education Placement Grant

Ainslie Smith As a result of a generous donation I had the opportunity to experience a rural placement, which helped me to grow both personally and professionally. I don’t think that I could have experienced the same growth in a metropolitan school.

– Ainslie Smith
David Pank Northern Areas Education Placement Grant

Elyas Alavi “With this very generous sponsorship I was able to have a research trip to Sydney to visit the unique exhibition ‘Afghanistan Hidden Treasures’ at The Art Gallery of New South Wales. The artefacts in this exhibition were brought from Kabul museum in Afghanistan and include important archaeological finds from significant Silk Road sites. The trip also enabled me to meet the Afghan Hazara artist Khadim Ali, who has exhibited around the world – critical discussion with him has benefited my research as there are number of similar points we are investigating.”

– Elyas Alavi
Art, Architecture and Design Higher Degree Research National Travel Award

Pank Prize for Entrepreneurship

Elyas Alavi

In conjunction with the UniSA School of Management, the Pank Prize for Entrepreneurship assists UniSA graduates to set up a new and innovative business in South Australia, with $15,000 in startup support and a further $15,000 worth of industry mentorship.

In 2014 the prize was awarded to two South Australian policemen, Senior Constable Tung Tran (pictured left), a UniSA Bachelor of Commerce graduate, and his business partner Senior Constable Jerome Lienert. The funds are helping them develop a new software project called ‘myEvidence’ which aims to improve the way evidence is presented in court.

The Don Hawke Memorial Scholarship & Pearce Family Transition Grant

Don Hawke Memorial Scholarship

Don Hawke Memorial Scholarship

Tom Pearce, his late wife Jean, and children Susan, Erica and Andrew, are highly valued donors to the University of South Australia.

In 2005 Jean created the Don Hawke Memorial Scholarship in honour and memory of her late brother who, through circumstance, was never able to attend university despite his aspirations. The Don Hawke Memorial Scholarship supports financially disadvantaged students from regional and remote South Australia, and remains one of the most generous study scholarships available for undergraduate students.

This unique scholarship has been designed carefully to assist students who have had a break (up to two years) between finishing secondary school and commencing their higher education, ensuring applicants have thought carefully about what they want to do and approach their higher education studies with a real sense of commitment. The scholarship provides $25,000 each year for up to five years, generously sufficient to cover study and living costs for the lifetime of the degree.

“We believe in sharing and we get much more joy out of giving than we could have ever imagined” – the late Jean Pearce

Tom and Jean’s interest in improving equitable access for regional and remote students to fulfil their higher education ambitions was also behind the establishment of the Pearce Family Transition Grants. These grants are designed to assist financially disadvantaged commencing students from rural locations who have enrolled in an Education degree program during their first year of university study.

Since Jean died in 2009, the Pearce Family have continued to support a wide range of causes including the arts, education, health, the environment and overseas development.

Tom Pearce, Susan Lloyd and Erica Diment are pictured above with 2015 Don Hawke Memorial Scholarship recipient Madison Baj.

The Ian Davey Research Thesis Prize

Sheila Bailey with scholarship recipient Courtney Meier After taking up his appointment as Pro Vice Chancellor and Vice President, Research and International at the University of South Australia in 1994, Emeritus Professor Ian Davey became increasingly involved in research policy and management, at both an institutional and national level. Demonstrative of this dedication to quality research is his generous donation to establish The Ian Davey Research Thesis Prize after his retirement in 2006.

The prize, valued at $3,000, is a prestigious award that recognises the most outstanding research thesis passed and leading to a Doctor of Philosophy in the preceding calendar year.

Dr Thuc Le was awarded the 2015 Ian Davey Research Thesis Prize for his cutting-edge bioinformatics research into the genetic causes of cancer.

Thuc completed his project with the School of Information Technology and Mathematical Sciences, in close collaboration with the Centre for Cancer Biology. His project combined mathematics, statistics and computer science to investigate how genes interact and lead to cancer

“We developed a computer model to predict which miRNA will affect which mRNA, and pick top interactions to investigate further. This helps with the design of laboratory experiments,” Thuc says.

“Researchers might have 20,000 genes to look at, one-by-one. My model helps put together a shortlist of genes for further examination.

“Understanding the genetic causes of cancer will lead to more efficient treatment and therapy, and will enable personalised medicine in which the genetic information of the patient will allow the creation of customised drugs.”