Current Students

Scholarship winner will focus on experience of motherhood

Bonnie Britton and Family

Bonnie Britton, postgraduate in the UTAS School of Philosophy, is the 2012 winner of the Gwen Nettlefold Scholarship.

The scholarship will support Bonnie through her postgraduate studies. She studied a Bachelor of Arts followed by Honours in Philosophy in 2006, achieving First Class results.

While she spends a lot of time studying, Bonnie enjoys finding time for bushwalking, gardening and community activities with her husband Carl and two children Romulus and Grace.

She also recently trained to be a birth doula (someone who provides non-medical support through a birth) and hopes to take her research in a direction that may assist women in a better birth experience.

Bonnie said the purpose of her PhD thesis, which will examine motherhood, is twofold.

“It is to answer the personal identity question ‘who am I’ at the same time as looking into the role transitioning from woman to mother has on a woman’s identity.

“Dr Nettlefold’s research used maternity as a lens through which to examine women’s knowledge and the relationship between this knowledge and embodied experience.

“Early motherhood is a particularly relevant lens through which to examine the personal identity question. It highlights several concepts that I will show to be central to personal identity.”

Gwen Nettlefold was born in Hobart in 1961 and educated at Waimea Heights Primary School and Fahan School. She trained as a nurse, a naturopath and completed a Bachelor of Communications before embarking on her doctorate in Philosophy at UTAS.

Her ability as a philosopher rapidly became apparent and she made a significant contribution to the School of Philosophy as a member of staff, a colleague and undergraduate tutor. Her doctoral thesis was virtually complete when a brain aneurysm tragically ended her life in November 2001. The university awarded her doctorate posthumously in December 2002.

Family, friends and colleagues have endowed a scholarship in her memory to encourage mature-aged women to undertake PhD study in any discipline in the Faculty of Arts, with a preference for philosophy.

The scholarship is awarded to a female PhD candidate, over the age of 30 in any discipline in the Faculty of Arts, with a preference for philosophy.

The scholarship is tenable for three years, with a possible six-month extension and provides a stipend of $7,500pa.

Image: Scholarship winner Bonnie Britton with her partner Carl, Romulus, four, and Grace, two.

Published on: 22 Mar 2012 11:31am