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Westpac Scholars Trust announces 2019 social change fellows


13 February 2019


Today the Westpac Scholars Trust recognised 10 outstanding social innovators, awarding each with fellowships valued up to $50,000 to invest in their personal and professional development.


Amongst this year’s recipients is Tanya Dupagne, 2017 AgriFutures Australian Rural Woman of the Year and 2017 Western Australian Rural Woman of the Year. Specialising in programs for youth affected by trauma, Tanya has worked with more than 130,000 children around the world over the last 15 years. In 2013, Tanya founded Camp Kulin, an organisation that works with children across Western Australia. She plans to use the fellowship to connect with other people and organisations innovating in her field.


“The Westpac Social Change Fellowship is a chance to concentrate on my development, which will in turn help me help others,” says Tanya. “There’s no other program I've come across that gives you the opportunity to spend time on you, where you receive such a huge amount of support to grow and develop, which in turn will enable me to bring fresh ideas to my work.”


Usman Iftikhar co-founded Catalysr in 2016 after experiencing firsthand the employment challenges faced by migrants and refugees on arriving in Australia. In under three years, Catalysr has helped over 100 migrants and supported the launch of 30 new enterprises in Australia.


“For me, the Westpac Social Change Fellowship is an incredible opportunity to meet like-minded changemakers and pioneers in Australia, so we can learn from each other and collaborate. It also provides a fantastic platform for personal growth and development that will enable me to be a better leader,” says Usman.


According to Westpac Scholars Trust CEO, Susan Bannigan: “Each of the 10 fellows announced today are extraordinary individuals driving positive change, in areas including Indigenous and rural communities, refugees, and people effected by disability and disadvantage.”


“Now in its fourth year, we can see the positive impact the Fellowship program is making, not only on the individual, but also their community, organisation and the people they’re helping. Past recipients like Luke Terry from Vanguard Laundry, Jeremy Forbes from HALT and Madeleine Buchner OAM from Little Dreamers, have really benefited from the development and networking opportunities the program offers – enabling them to drive greater change.”


Beyond the financial investment of the fellowship, every Westpac Social Change Fellow gains lifelong access to the Westpac 100 Scholars Network. Growing by 100 scholars a year across Westpac Scholars Trust’s five scholarship programs, the network connects a community of people from all walks of life with the ideas and drive to help shape a better


future for all Australians. “Every Westpac Scholar will have lifelong access to mentorship, collaboration, learning and development opportunities through the Westpac 100 Scholars Network,” continues Susan.


For a full list of 2019 recipients, visit the Westpac Scholars Trust website.


Media Contacts

Georgina McMenamin


M: 0432 876 209


Penny Mahon


M: 0434 185 590


Notes to the editor


About the Westpac Social Change Fellowship

The Westpac Social Change Fellowship is one of five scholarships offered by the Westpac Scholars Trust, formerly known as Westpac Bicentennial Foundation. The scholarships were created in 2014 with a $100 million gift to the nation from Westpac, to help to support individuals with the drive and ideas to help shape the future of Australia. As part of this commitment, the Trust will award 100 scholarships a year, forever.


More information on the 2019 recipients:


Name Organisation State Bio

Jethro Sercombe

Anglicare WA Jethro leads the Human Centred Design Practice at Anglicare WA. It works by using a deep understanding of the experience of vulnerable citizens as a launch pad for creative service and systems redesign and helps to develop a culture of innovation across the organisation.
Tanya Dupagne

Camp Kulin


Tanya has been working in the field of social change for the past 15 years and has worked with over 130,000 children. Tanya is the founder of Camp Kulin which works with kids across WA, with a specific program for children affected by trauma. Camp Kulin currently has up to a 3 year wait for high needs campers to attend.
Sarah Powell Champions Academy SA Sarah leads Champions Academy, a mentoring and personal development program to help build future leaders and advocates in rural Australia. The program is designed to produce change agents, cleverly using sporting clubs as a vehicle to prepare young people for positions of advocacy later in life, while in the meantime producing positive role models in the community for the next generation of rural Australia to aspire to (encouraging a cycle of mentorship).
Usman Iftikhar



Usman co-founded Catalysr, an award-winning pre-accelerator program empowering migrants and refugees to launch their own startups in Australia. Since 2016 Catalysr have supported 100+ migrapreneurs and helped launch 30 new enterprises.
Lyndon Galea

Eat Up


Lyndon founded Eat Up which has a mission to provide lunches to some of the most vulnerable children in Australia, to help them take advantage of learning opportunities, succeed in education and help break the poverty cycle. Eat Up currently supports 349 schools throughout Victoria, Sydney and Brisbane. Making and delivering more than 7,000 lunches each school week.
Dr Shelley Bowen

Health Futures Australia


Health Futures Australia is a place-based movement to activate community, sectoral and civic leadership to fight obesity. Founded by Shelley, its vision is to mobilise 50 communities by 2022 and 100 by 2025, through a platform for change and a suite of public health interventions which target a 5% reduction in overweight and obesity in each community.
Nipuni Wijewickrema

GG’s Hampers & Flowers


Nipuni established GG’s Flowers & Hampers for her sister Gayana, a young woman that just happens to have Down Syndrome, to provide meaningful employment for people with special needs. In the early days, the duo would travel around delivering flower bouquets as a means for Gayana to have employment. Five years on, the business has bloomed into a local Canberra florist and international gift hamper business that provides employment to 20 people with special needs.
Victoria Haar

Future Leaders


Tori leads Future Leaders, a leadership program for autistic adults, co-designed and co-delivered with autistic leaders. The comprehensive program includes online modules, a residential workshop, volunteer placements and mentoring, but fundamentally it brings together a community of peers who learn from, empower and encourage one another to pursue their goals and positively impact their communities.
Skye O’Meara

APY Arts Centre Collective


Skye is currently the General Manager of APY Art Centre Collective – which is 100% Indigenous owned and governed, offering consumers an ethical buy in the Indigenous art market and a previously inaccessible direct line of sale from ‘bush-to-boardroom’. Steady business growth and increased capacity has led to a significant up-scale, with the launch of a Sydney gallery. The first of its kind in Australia, the gallery has allowed access to an untapped market offering a distinct product.
Summer Elizabeth



Summer co-founded AbleFinder in 2017 to address the devastating impact of social isolation experienced by families living with disability. Just two years on, they are well on the way to revolutionising the way in which the power of community can be combined with that of smart technology to ensure every parent and primary carer of a child with disability feels connected, informed and empowered.