Business Professional Women Coffs Harbour Scholarship Dinner

Professor Kirsten Beckendorff will talk about the challenges and triumphs experienced by women in STEM.


BUSINESS Professional Women Coffs Harbour (BPW) called for scholarship applications at the end of April, and the winner will be chosen from some interesting and inspiring applicants.

The interview process is currently underway and the Maude Spielvogel scholarship and the Wendy Martin Education Encouragement Award will be awarded at a dinner at 63 First Avenue, in Sawtell, on Wednesday, June 23.

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The scholarships are available to all females who reside in the Coffs Coast area, who are in the final year of study at tertiary level for a Diploma, Degree or higher qualification, have had a gap between secondary schooling and tertiary study and will have overcome disadvantage and/or adversity and/or challenges in order to study.

The guest speaker at the dinner will be Professor Kirsten Benkendorff from the Southern Cross University Marine Ecology Centre who will share her inspiring story of the challenges and triumphs experienced by women in STEM.

Professor Benkendorff was awarded the 2011 Dorothy Hill Award from the Australian Academy of Science, a 2008 SA Young Tall Poppy Award and the 2000 Young Australian of the Year Award in Science and Technology.

She has made significant contributions towards assessing human impacts in marine ecosystems, using molluscs as “bioindicators”

Her research program includes assessing the impacts of ocean climate change and environmental contaminants on the immune health and nutritional quality of seafood species.

Professor Benkendorff is also investigating the use of marine molluscs for human medicine and has identified a promising anticancer and anti-inflammatory agent that is in preclinical trials.

The evening has the four aims of celebrating the achievements of the successful candidates, engaging with an inspiring presentation by Professor Benkendorff, connecting and socialising with other guests and enjoying the delicious food and ambience provided by 63 First Avenue.

Event details can be found at


By Andrew VIVIAN

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