The National Council of Women / Women’s Plans Foundation Award
The National Council of Women / Women’s Plans Foundation Award is given in recognition of Women’s Plans Foundation to a student with a demonstrated interest in reproductive health and who has an understanding of the role of family planning in women’s development in third world countries.
The Award and $1,000 prize is presented annually by The National Council of Women at its Australia Day Luncheon at Parliament House, Sydney.
Applications for 2017 close in September 2017, and should include a 200 to 300 word account of the student’s academic record and an account of demonstrated interest in reproductive health and family planning as a component of women’s development in developing countries. Applicants may also include a resume, outlining relevant professional experience, volunteer work or special need. Applications should be submitted electronically, as a Word doc or pdf to <WomensPlansFoundation@bigpond.com> or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Awardees of The National Council of Women / Women’s Plans Foundation Award
2017 Awardee — Anna-Lena Waldner
Lena writes: "Having grown up in Indonesia, Australia and Germany, I have always had a passion for other cultures and countries, especially in the developing world. As a result, my upbringing has driven my aspiration to combine both of my degrees and work as a nurse in low-income countries.I currently work for Médecins Sans Frontières Australia (Doctors Without Borders), which has further intensified my aspiration to work in this particular field, as it has opened my eyes to current international issues, especially pertaining to women’s and children’s health all around the world.
2016 Awardee — Sandra Katumo
Sandra writes, “While volunteering in Kenya with Furaha Feet Foundation, an organisation that reaches out to underprivileged children, I saw the importance of family planning. Most of these children did not have their basic needs met. It was evident that they came from big families and their parents were torn between buying shoes and clothes for them and feeding them. For most families this meant feeding a family of four or five children on a minimum wage or none at all. It is no doubt the important role of women in the society and especially in the third world countries where their roles remain as supporters of their families through wage labor, they ensure household food security and nutrition and also preserve traditional knowledge that ensures preservation of the community’s heritage and history while maintaining biodiversity. It is therefore important to support women to ensure that they effectively manage their roles. The number one way this is achievable is to educate the women on the importance of family planning and supporting them with the necessary tools and access to preferred contraceptive method.” Sandra spoke at the winter Symposium.
2015 Awardee — Georgi Sheumack
The 2015 Award was presented to Georgi Sheumack, a final year midwifery student at UTS. Georgi has been a volunteer in Indonesia, and writes that she “has become interested in the complex cultural and legal barriers that Indonesian women face in accessing and choosing family planning health services.” She has seen the results of unintended pregnancies – sometimes children put in orphanages because their parents cannot afford to care for them.
WPF continued its support of the School of Nursing, University of Sydney, awarding a scholarship to Annika Schryver. Annika spent four months as a volunteer in Rwanda, and writes, “Through my work at the clinic I was able to see the huge importance and value of sexual health education, awareness of and access to contraceptive options…. imperative in the empowerment of women within the community. With a population of nearly 12 million people and one of the highest average annual population growth rates in the region, family planning education is absolutely critical to the success and sustainability of the Rwandan population and economy.”
2014 Awardee — Souti Khalil
The 2014 Award was presented to Souti Khalil on January 23rd at the National Council of Women’s Australia Day luncheon. Souti has a Bachelor of Medical Science and was then in the first year of her Master of Nursing degree at the School of Nursing, University of Sydney. Souti has been a volunteer in Kenya, which “increased my passion to reach out and teach women that they have the ability to plan the number and spacing of their children and take ownership of their reproductive health…. I saw the lack of family planning and the critical effect it had…. What really broke my heart was seeing the woman’s blank expression as she entered the delivery room and the blank expression which remained after leaving with her baby. Another unwanted baby is born.”
2013 Awardee — Kathleen Foster
The 2013 Award was presented to Kathleen Foster, Master of Nursing Student at the University of Sydney. Kathleen saw firsthand the effects of nonexistent family planning in Kenya, many of the women having their fourth or fifth child before age 25. Kathleen wrote, “Education about family planning in Kenya is well below the levels seen in developed nations. By teaching women that they have the ability to plan the number and spacing of their children and take ownership of their reproductive health, we not only improve maternal health but also decrease child mortality rates as well.”
2012 Awardee — Jacqueline Goss
The 2012 Award was presented to Jacqueline Goss, completing a Masters of Public Health/Health Management at NSW, majoring in International Health with Reproductive, Maternal and Child Health, earning the Family Planning Australia Certificate. Jacqueline wrote that her study “is not only fascinating but has also confirmed my interest in maternal mortality, fertility regulation, gender equality and the role of global agencies in reproductive health.”
2011 Awardee — Karina Sijabat
The 2011 Award was presented to Karina Sijabat, completing a B. Arts majoring in Government & International Relations concurrently with a M Nursing. We wish her well in her studies and her ambitions to meet the issues “surrounding poverty, large families and low access to healthcare”. Karina sees nursing as a practical and effective means of becoming involved.