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The Minerva Scholarship Program

The Minerva Network launched its first tertiary scholarship program in September 2020 with its founding scholarship partner, The Sydney Roosters and Easts Group.

The Minerva Network Scholarships Program will be open to Australia’s elite and professional level female athletes who are current Minerva Athletes and who would benefit from financial support to complete or commence an Australian certified education or vocational qualification.

Scholarships will be awarded to outstanding Minerva Athletes who are role models on and off the field, have a long term career goal linked to proposed area of study and a credible plan to maintain her level of sporting performance despite the study commitment.

Minerva Mentor Annette Wargon is Chair of the Minerva Network Scholarships Committee, which also includes Gabrielle Curtin, Group Executive, Snowy Hydro, Nicola Wakefield-Evans, one of Australia’s leading company directors and Chairman of the 30% Club Australia, and Kate Aitken, Minerva Network Co-Founder and Vice-President Human Resources at Optus.  The committee assesses all scholarship applications while inspiring athletes to set their long-term career goals.

The Minerva Network is delighted to announce that the Sydney Roosters and Easts Group have committed $10,000 per annum for 5 years commencing in February 2021 to coincide with the commencement of the University and TAFE calendar year.

Future Matildas player Jada Whyman was awarded the inaugural Sydney Roosters and Easts Group Minerva Scholarship in December 2020. Jada is keen to pursue a Bachelor of Commerce degree at Sydney University.

In December 2020,  Minerva Network also announced the inaugural Torrens University 100% Scholarship, awarded to Australian Rowing Womens Eight crew World Championship medallist Georgie Rowe. Georgie is keen to pursue a Master in Business Administration and Master of Public Health at Torrens University, building on her background in nursing and the work that she has been doing with the Bite Back program educating high school students about mental health.

In making a substantial commitment to women in sport and their local community, Minerva Network announced the Newcastle Knights have committed to a $10,000 12 month scholarship, effective February 2021. Jemma Smith, one of the shooting stars of the Surf Lifesaving disciplines in Australia, has been awarded the inaugural Newcastle Knights Minerva Scholarship. Jemma is starting her fourth year of study for a Bachelor of Education specialising in Secondary Mathematics and Physical Education, with her aim to continue post-graduate studies at the University of Newcastle.

Minerva Network Chairman Christine McLoughlin said “we know from working with elite athletes over the past four years at the Minerva Network that they juggle training, competing and part-time work to pay the bills, along with their studies.  Sadly, when the pressure is on and they need to cover some of the bills, too often those studies are sacrificed.

“The Minerva Scholarships are an investment in our future as the level of skill and discipline shown by our Minerva Athletes in competing at the highest level are precisely the traits we look for in our community leaders and in the world of business.”

To be successful in your application you’ll need to submit the following in writing: 

1.  Biographical information including:

  • Highest level of education attained to date;
  • Senior sporting career; 
  • Paid and unpaid roles and responsibilities in various organisations; and
  • Extracurricular activities.

2.  Proposed course and current sources of income:

  • Institution, timeframe, cost and course prerequisites;
  • Any other scholarships that you currently have; and
  • Sources of income, requirements and contract tenure if applicable.

3.  A submission of no more than 1500 words detailing the following:

  • Your greatest challenges and achievements to date; 
  • Career aspirations and goals post your sporting career;
  • How the proposed course/qualification would help you achieve your career goals;
  • How you intend to manage and balance completing the course in the timeframe with your sporting and other personal commitments; and
  • What winning the inaugural Sydney Roosters & Easts Group scholarship would mean to you.

4. 1 to 2 personal referees who can be contacted as part of the application process.

The Minerva Scholarship Committee, which consists of Minerva Mentors: Annette Wargon, Gabrielle Curtin, Kate Aitken and Nicola Wakefield-Evans, commits to reviewing all applications and personally contacting each applicant to provide feedback regardless of the outcome.

Frequently asked questions

  1. Who can apply?
    All Minerva athletes, from any sport, in any location across Australia are welcome to apply.

  2. Can I apply if:

    1. I’ve only recently joined Minerva?
    2. I don’t currently have a Minerva mentor?
      Yes, if successful, you will be matched with a mentor as a requirement of the scholarship
    3. I have already commenced my study?
    4. I am studying or plan to study outside of Australia?
      This scholarship is only available for study undertaken at an Australian based institution.
    5. I am studying or plan to study part time?
      Yes –  the scholarship recognises that most elite athletes are unable to undertake full time study due to training and competition commitments.
  3. What type of study can I undertake?
    Any Australian tertiary qualifications, including University and TAFE. Professional courses or industry qualifications may be considered. If you are unsure if your intended course is eligible, please send details to

  4. How long is the scholarship valid for?
    Up to 5 years

  5. Can I defer my course?
    The recipient must commence her course or program in the nearest possible academic cycle to being awarded the scholarship. Any deferral or failure to complete on the basis of attendance may put your scholarship at risk.
    If your circumstances change, please get in touch with the MNSC to discuss.

  6. How is the scholarship recipient decided?
    The MNSC will review all applications and invite a shortlist of applicants to interview. The MNSC after endorsement from the Minerva Network Council and the Scholarship Sponsor will then determine the recipient/s and contact all applicants.

  7. What are the ongoing commitments of the recipient?
    The recipient of the Scholarship will have ongoing commitments including the need to pass all subjects to remain eligible to receive continued funding, be prepared to be profiled and attend a number of events as a Scholarship Ambassador and at all times behave in accordance with Minerva Network and the sponsor organisation’s expectations and brand, which will be provided to the recipient upon award of the scholarship

  8. What is the closing date for applications?
    30 November 2020

  9. What happens after I apply?
    The MNSC will review all applications and shortlisted candidates will be invited to interview in December.
    Once final decisions are made, all applicants will be contacted by the MNSC who will provide personal feedback.

For more information, please contact Robyn Danzey:

To apply, download the application below and email the completed form to:

Applications for this prestigious scholarship will close on 30 November 2020 with interviews scheduled in December with the announcement of the 2021 Scholarship recipient to be announced no later than 14 December 2020. This timeframe will ensure that the successful applicant has time to apply for their course in time for the 2021 university/TAFE year.