Kate McPherson Scholarship


Dr Kate McPherson was an inspirational teacher and educator who died prematurely in 2007 from motor neurone disease. Kate’s career had taken her from her native England to many parts of the world, teaching and working in adult migrant education and English as a second language programs before her final role at the University of Tasmania lecturing in TESOL (Teaching English to Speakers of other Languages). She was highly regarded for her academic leadership in the area and for her compassion for her students.

Kate McPherson had expressed a desire through her estate to support the study in Australia of Fijian women graduates of the University of the South Pacific. Her hope was that such opportunity would assist them to overcome some of the limitations that poverty, political instability and gender place on educational and career opportunities for women in the region. Kate’s desire to support Fijian women in particular stemmed from her deep affection for the country and its people gained while working in the University in Suva and her wish to foster connections with Tasmania.

The trustees of her estate have established a scholarship in her name to allow students from Fiji to undertake postgraduate studies in education at the University of Tasmania.

Type of scholarship

Base Scholarship

Next scheduled Offer


Scholarship terms

  1. An amount of $228,660 donated by the trustees to the Kate McPherson Foundation to the University of Tasmania Foundation, together with a matching contribution provided by the University of Tasmania Foundation, along with additional funds donated by friends and colleagues and with any interest from time to time, forms the endowment of a scholarship to be called the "Kate McPherson Scholarship”.
  2. The scholarship is to be awarded to a female graduate of the University of the South Pacific who is a citizen of the Fiji Islands and who is eligible to enrol in a postgraduate course in the Faculty of Education at the University of Tasmania.
  3. The scholarship will be awarded by a selection committee comprising:
    1. Two trustees of the estate of the late Kate McPherson (while they wish to be involved)
    2. The Associate Dean Research of the College of Arts, Law and Education (or equivalent), or a nominee
    3. After the end of the involvement of both of the trustees, a person with an interest in Pacific affairs nominated by the Vice-Chancellor.
  4. The selection committee will set the selection criteria for the scholarship. However, in its selection it will give preference to students who in its view through their application for the scholarship have outlined a clearly articulated and realistic rationale for undertaking study in Tasmania and have a demonstrated commitment to return to the Fiji Islands on completion of the course of study.
  5. The scholarship is tenable for the normal duration of the postgraduate course selected by the student, with the approval of the selection committee, and any additional time granted by the Dean of Graduate Research if the student is undertaking a Research Higher Degree.
  6. The student must study full-time in the approved postgraduate course. Part-time study may be permitted in certain circumstances with the approval of the selection committee.
  7. The Graduate Research Office may terminate a student’s scholarship or suspend it for up to one year if it considers the student’s progress is unsatisfactory. If the award is suspended, the selection committee may re-award the scholarship to the same student for a following year if it considers that the student’s academic record the previous year justifies that action.
  8. The Graduate Research Office will determine all other matters concerning the scholarship, including advertising, application procedures and the method and time of payment of the scholarship.
  9. The Advancement Office will set the annual value of the scholarship from time to time having regard to the income from the endowment.
  10. After a reasonable period of operation of the scholarship, the trustees may approach the University to review its operation and extend the scholarship to other academic disciplines consistent with Kate McPherson’s wishes.