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We are delighted to announce that the winner of the 2019 Bridget Whelan Scholarship is Georgia Goldsworthy, formerly an adviser to The Hon. Senator Penny Wong and currently an adviser and member of the Parliament team in the office of the Leader of the Opposition.

The judging panel for the scholarship included The Hon. Tanya Plibersek MP, President of the ERN Annie O’Rourke and member of the ERN Executive Kirsten Mulley.  The $10,000 scholarship will go towards professional development training and travel, as well as transferring knowledge to the rest of the ERN members and current ALP staffers.

It was only slightly awkward that the Leader of the Opposition, The Hon. Anthony Albanese MP had to present the award to one of this own staff members (!!) but both coped with grace and Georgia gave a wonderful acceptance speech (see extract below).

We were also very pleased that Rachael Durrant, winner of the 2018 scholarship, was able to present some of the findings from her 2018 study tour in the US and will be providing a written report for members to read in the near future.

Thanks to Bridget’s brother and nephew for attending, along with the many Members and Senators, Canberra-based staffers, who attended this event and all those who continue to support the ERN and the Scholarship through donations (if you haven’t managed to make a donation yet, please contact to get the details - every dollar counts!)

Excerpt of Georgia Goldsworthy's Acceptance Speech 

Georgia Goldsworthy and The Hon Anthony Albanese MP, Leader of the Opposition 


For female advisers in the Australian Labor Party

Offered by the Elizabeth Reid Network

The Bridget Whelan Scholarship is an annual award of $10,000 for female advisers in the Australian Labor Party. It is named in honour of the talented Bridget Whelan who worked in the NSW and Federal Government for the Labor Party from 2000 to 2011. Bridget worked as a Senior Adviser for Minister John Della Bosca and Premier Morris Lemma, and as a Chief of Staff for Attorney-General John Hatzistergos and Minister Mark Arbib. During her time in Government, Bridget ran the NSW Legislative program and was responsible for a raft of important legislation. Bridget also worked hard to support, guide and mentor other female advisers.

The purpose of the Scholarship is to assist female advisers with several years experience to extend and develop their skills and capacity and contribute further to the party – whether in policy, communications or leadership roles.

We are seeking passionate and committed women who see a future for themselves as political advisers, and want the opportunity to broaden their knowledge and horizons at either a national or international level.


How can the scholarship funds be spent?

The Scholarship of $10,000 will be awarded to an outstanding candidate who can use the funds to undertake travel, further education and training, or other activities that will prepare them to undertake more challenging work within the party as an adviser.  

It is expected that the funds will be spent within 12 months of being awarded, with a requirement that a written report be provided to the Elizabeth Reid Network for distribution to female advisers and others within the party.


Who should apply?

To be eligible for the Scholarship, female applicants must meet the minimum selection criteria of:

  • 3 or more years experience as a political adviser (at Federal or State level)

  • 2 or more years of work experience in another workplace

  • Australian citizen or resident


The successful applicant will also demonstrate the potential to contribute to the ALP and act as a mentor for younger female advisers at the completion of their Scholarship activities.

About the Elizabeth Reid Network

The Elizabeth Reid Network was launched in 2016 as a network for current and former female advisers within the Australian Labor Party. Its goal is to create a network to support female advisers and encourage their participation in the political process.


For further information

Contact Annie O’Rourke, President of the Elizabeth Reid Network on 0488 557 166 or

Congratulations Georgia Goldsworthy -

recipient of the 2019 Bridget Whelan Scholarship!
15 October 2019

Winner of 2019 Scholarship 

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