Inaugural scholarship for women in international business

Media release

11 November 2013

Trade and Investment Minister Andrew Robb today announced the establishment of the Beryl Wilson Austrade Scholarship for Women in International Business.

Beryl Wilson was the first woman to be appointed as an Australian trade commissioner, in 1963.

On the 50th anniversary of her appointment as Trade Commissioner to Los Angeles, Austrade has founded a scholarship recognising Beryl Wilson's achievement. It will be awarded to a female student enrolled full-time in international business studies.

"At a time when women were struggling to be recognised, Beryl Wilson was able to break through the barriers and achieve her career aspirations," Mr Robb said.

"She provided a strong role model to inspire other women to serve their country as Trade Commissioners."

Today, women are responsible for overseeing trade diplomacy at some of Austrade's key overseas offices including Washington, Toronto, New Delhi, Tokyo, Kuala Lumpur, Moscow and Guangzhou.

Beryl Wilson's career included postings in San Francisco, the Pacific Islands, New Zealand and London. She also served as Deputy Director within the then Department of Trade and Industry, parts of which later formed the Australian Trade Commission.

"The scholarship recognises the contribution of women to Australia's international trade, but hopefully it will also encourage more women to consider a career in international business," Mr Robb said.

To be eligible for the scholarship, applicants must be Australian citizens, be enrolled full-time in the final year of a master's degree by coursework in international business or a master of business administration with an international business specialisation and have Asian language competency.

Austrade will award one scholarship per year valued at $40,000. The scholarship can be used for course fees, study materials and other related expenses.

The successful applicant will have the opportunity to participate in the Women in Global Business Program, a joint Australian, State and Territory Government initiative which aims to increase the number of women in international trade.

The scholarship will be promoted through Universities Australia, the peak body representing Australia's 39 universities.

For more information on the scholarship and application details, visit www.austrade.gov.au/beryl-wilson-scholarship

Media enquiries

  • Trade Minister's Office: (02) 6277 7420
  • DFAT Media Liaison: (02) 6261 1555