The Dr Heather MacGowan OAM Scholarship recognises the life's work and achievements of an inspirational and extraordinary woman.
Heather had a long and distinguished career in sport and recreation in several states of Australia, in professional, academic and volunteer roles.
She was highly regarded for her passion, dedication, energy, enthusiasm, expertise and desire to achieve excellence, which motivated her to encourage and mentor colleagues to reach their potential. She met all of life’s challenges with great courage, determination and humour.
This scholarship is a lasting means to ensure that people working in the sport and recreation industry receive the kind of support and encouragement Heather would have liked to have personally offered by providing a monetary resource to one or more young persons in the industry every year..
The annual $10,000 scholarship enables one or more recipients to develop a project or initiative that will not only develop the individuals professional and personal skills and knowledge within their organisation and area of interest, but will also benefit the entire sport and recreation industry in WA.
The industry project/initiative must be completed within twelve months of the scholarship being awarded.
The selection criteria are not based on academic qualifications.
2015 Caitlin Dransfield
Caitlin used the scholarship to compare and contrast sport and recreation inclusion and disability practices and processes across Western Australia and Queensland. Caitlin's research provided her with an excellent professional development opportunity, and has enabled DSR to gain valuable insight into industry personnel perception of inclusion.
2011 Ashleigh Davis
Ashleigh used the scholarship to attend international triathlon events to research and explore marketing and sponsorship strategies used internationally, which will assist in the development of a ‘tool kit’ used for education and training.
2010 Darren Smith
Darren used the scholarship for research into exploring and improving access and employment opportunities in the sport and recreation industry for remote Aboriginal communities.
The findings of Darren's research will be shared with key agencies in WA. Research will take place in remote Aboriginal communities of WA.
2009 Anna Sheppard
Anna used the scholarship to attend the 2009 Physical Activity and Public Health Practitioners Course and visit to the British Heart Foundation National Centre for Physical Activity and Health.
The scholarship allowed Anna to further develop knowledge, skills, networks and contacts in the area of community and work-based initiatives to promote physical activity with a view to leading future programs in this area.
"My attendance at the 2009 Physical Activity and Public Health Practitioners Course on Community Interventions and my visit to the British Heart Foundation National Centre for Physical Activity and Health have allowed me to establish many professional networks around the globe," Anna said in her report. "It provided me with a great opportunity for professional development. The Practitioners Course in particular was a unique opportunity to interface with some of the world’s leading authorities, and to thoroughly examine the evidence and the theory underpinning health promotion and effective community physical activity interventions."
Anna said her visit to the UK allowed her the opportunity to find out about the programs that organisations such as the British Heart Foundation, Natural England, Walk England and Sustrans were currently operating.
“As a result, I am better placed to play a role in leading future physical activity programs in Western Australia,” she said.
2008 Helen Cunningham
Helen used the scholarship to attend the Australian New Zealand Law Association (ANZSLA) Conference and for research and observation of international best practice of the development of sustainable disability sport. The findings were shared with key agencies in WA and Australia.
During her time in the UK, Helen consulted with eight organisations to discuss how they contribute to inclusive and disability sport. Helen also attended the pre-Olympic Congress Conference in China. Helen’s study aimed to provide an holistic approach in examining how to increase participation rates of people with a disability in sport (from a national, state and club level), rather than merely focusing on the barriers to participation. A range of information was collated and the key findings were presented to industry personnel.
As a separate project, Helen also attended the ANZSLA Conference. “The ANZSLA Conference provided me with the opportunity to hear from the leaders in sports law in Australia and New Zealand, and enabled me to objectively look at how sport and recreation organisations in WA are supported and directed in this area," Helen said in her report. "The findings at the conference have, and will continue to, support my work and therefore the sport and recreation industry in WA.”
2006 Daneka O’Brien
Deneka used the scholarship to attend the ASICS Conference of Science and Medicine in Sport (Fiji).
Daneka attended a three-day conference, which she said inspired her to be fascinated about research that is currently underway in Australia and the world. The presentations extended Daneka’s knowledge and gave her the information she required to think more deeply about how she can put in place structures to develop physical activity programs for the community.
2005 Brodie Cotter
Brodie used the scholarship to visit Surfing Australia’s headquarters and High Performance Centres in New South Wales, plus completed a judging and officiating course. Brodie went on to work for Surfing Australia.
Brodie’s aim was to improve the integrity of surfing as a professional sport by introducing new and improved high performance coaching, creating new opportunities for participation within the sport and mentoring junior participants, to name a few.
Brodie had completed a Bachelor of Science degree at Edith Cowan University in Bunbury with a major in surf skills and junior development. The scholarship allowed her to visit Surfing Australia’s headquarters and High Performance Centres in New South Wales and complete a judging and officiating course. Brodie went on to take up a role with Surfing Australia.
2004 Samantha Shields
Samantha used the scholarship to attend at United States Aquatic Sports Convention.
Samantha was a Development Officer with the WA Swimming Association and used the scholarship to attend the United States Aquatic Sports Convention in North Carolina.
Sam found that USA swimming’s strength was in its people resources. She reported back with three key programs that would be of interest to Swimming in WA.