Roberta Sykes was a trailblazer.
A poet, activist, indigenous rights campaigner. When she graduated from Harvard, she became the first black Australian to graduate from a university in the United States.
She was a passionate promoter of indigenous women doing study abroad.
In honour of her life and work, each year CEW in partnership with the Roberta Sykes Foundation, offers three scholarships for rising and mid-career Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women leaders to attend the Harvard Kennedy School.
Applicants can select a course delivered either face-to-face or online, and the scholarship will cover the cost of tuition fees, and provide a travel allowance if required.
The Scholarship is administered by the Aurora Education Foundation, on behalf of CEW and Roberta Skyes, and CEO Leila Smith says the scholarship gives recipients an opportunity to learn abroad, expand networks, and take those newfound connections and learnings home for the benefit of Aboriginal communities.
‘We’ve delivered scholarships and opportunities to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women who are interested in expanding their network. Who want to think deeply about a problem or an opportunity, with a new perspective,” she says.
University of Wollongong Executive Director, Indigenous Strategy Jaymee Beveridge, who received a scholarship in 2022, is using the opportunity to study Leadership for the 21st Century.
“Being out of my default comfort zone, I hope to show younger Indigenous women that yes – you can be an Executive woman in a massive white organisation with a global reach,” she says.
“Essentially, I hope the notion of ‘You can’t be what you can’t see!’ is reduced in all realms of higher education, including attending University and even working within the academy.”
Applications open for the 2023 CEW and Roberta Sykes Scholarships open on February 20, and close on March 19.
The Scholarship is open to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women who:
- Are mid-level to senior managers.
- Have five or more years of experience managing teams of five or more people, including managers.
- Have two or more years of general management experience.
You can find more information, or apply, here.