New scholarship creates leadership opportunities for women

Melissa Williams

Melissa Williams with her pioneering great-aunt, Margaret Williams.


A University of Western Sydney staff member has been announced as a recipient of the inaugural Australian business school scholarship, funded by Chief Executive Women (CEW) and the Australian Graduate School of Management (AGSM).
In the lead-up to National Reconciliation Week, Melissa Williams, Director of the Office of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Employment and Engagement at UWS, has been announced as one of only four scholarship recipients.

CEW and AGSM offered two of the scholarships to women who are of Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander background who have significant senior managerial experience. As a scholarship recipient, Ms Williams will be one of the first to attend AGSM’s Women in Leadership program.

"It is wonderful to be given this opportunity to be mentored by experienced executive women and to develop the skills required to take me to the next level of leadership in my career," says Ms Williams.

Ms Williams says it is important for women to act as role models for their families and communities, and hopes that her success will inspire other women with aspirations for a career at the senior management level.

“My advice for young women who are starting out their careers would be, if I can do it, so can you. If you do the hard yards the rewards will come, and always respect those who have gone before you and work beside you,” she says.

The University’s Office of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Employment and Engagement was a Finalist for the Pru Goward Award for Diversity Management, awarded by the Australian Human Resources Institute (AHRI), in 2009.

In 2010, the Office was also a Finalist for the Ministers Award for Outstanding EEO initiative for the Advancement of Women; won the Australian Human Resources Institute (AHRI) Fons Trompenaars Award for best people management initiatives and strategies in the management of a diverse or multicultural workplace; and in 2012 was a Finalist in the AHRI Cross Cultural Management Award.

In a Sydney Morning Herald report announcing the scholarship success, Ms Williams is pictured with her great-aunt Dr Margaret Williams, who was the first recorded Aboriginal to graduate from university in 1959. Ms Williams has also featured in NITV News broadcast about her scholarship.


28 May 2012

Read the story in the Sydney Morning Herald

Contact: Danielle Roddick, Senior Media Officer