Annie Fogarty awarded WA Australian of the Year

Annie Fogarty has been announced as the 2020 WA Australian of the Year for her exceptional work in education advocacy.

Annie founded the Fogarty Foundation in 2000 to help advance education, support young people to reach their full potential and build stronger communities.

Under Annie’s leadership, the Foundation identifies areas of need, supports partner organisations with philanthropic funds, connections and knowledge, and develops initiatives that deliver educational opportunities, inspire community leadership and enrich lives.

Mrs Fogarty is also involved with several boards and committees to help foster innovation and creativity in young people, and is committed to ensuring excellent education and learning for all.

Each year, the Australian of the Year awards celebrate the achievements and contributions of eminent Australians by profiling leading citizens who are role models for us all.

Also receiving the prestigious award are fellow West Australians Professor John Newnham AM, a world-leading authority in modern obstetrics; Yarlalu Thomas, a medical student and Precision Public Health Fellow in genetic and rare diseases; and science educator (and Fogarty EDfutures Catalyst) Suzy Urbaniak.

Annie will join award recipients from all over Australia for the national awards ceremony at the National Arboretum in Canberra on 25 January 2020 – the 60th anniversary of the awards.

Congratulations Annie!!

UWA Fogarty Scholarship Alumni, Dave Sherwood has been named in Forbes 30 Under 30 Europe Social Entrepreneurs for 2019. The Forbes 30 Under 30 is a set of lists issued annually by Forbes magazine identifying the next generation of entrepreneurs, visionaries, and trailblazers.

Dave Sherwood completed a Bachelor of Science (Chemistry & Physics) as part of the UWA Fogarty Scholarship Program. During his time at UWA and inspired by his rural schooling experience at Bunbury Senior High School, Sherwood co-founded Teach Learn Grow, an initiative to enable rural and Indigenous students to reach their full potential.

As the 2013 Western Australian Rhodes Scholar, Sherwood relocated to Oxford University, during which time he co-founded Bibliotech, the ‘Spotify for textbooks’. 

Bibliotech is a webapp providing students and universities with affordable online access to all the textbooks they need, at any time, on any device, without being limited by individual personal budgets. The idea behind Bibliotech was conceived by Sherwood, who realised that there was a gap in the e-reading market, with students having to buy physical textbooks for extortionate prices. 

Over 30 major international universities like NYU and University of Oxford are now turning to the Bibliotech team to provide digital textbooks and eLearning software. Sherwood and fellow co-founder Daniel Engelke and Tao Mantaras have raised over $5.5 million in funding and work with publishers like Pearson, McGraw-Hill and Wiley. 

As part of the Perth Writers Festival, UWA Fogarty Scholars and Alumni shared a morning with author and activist, Manal Al Sharif.  Manal candidly shared her amazing story of activism, including being incarcerated, but eventually leading to reform in Saudi Arabia.

With a Bachelor of Science in computing, Manal shared stories of being the only woman working in her company.  She shared personal insights into how to remain mentally strong, while relentlessly striving for what is right and was particularly inspiring about small daily rituals, like meditation, that have helped her develop an inner strength and obvious tenacity. She espoused the benefits of forgiveness and demonstrated a strong focus on self-belief.

As a Saudi Arabian women’s rights activist who helped start a women’s right to drive campaign in 2011, Manal published her first book in 2017 – ‘Daring to Drive: a Saudi Woman’s Awakening.’ Following her driving campaign, al-Sharif remained an active critic of the Saudi government, tweeting on issues including imprisoned female foreign workers, calling for government reform, and highlighting the inequalities faced by young Saudi girls, sometimes leading to death at the hands of their father or brothers. Her work has been widely recognized.

Time magazine named her one of the 100 Most Influential People of 2012.

Scholars commented that Manal al Sharif shared how even small actions that individuals can take, can lead to significant change.  It was also great to see Manal’s curiosity of young Australians, as she also had many questions for our Scholars and Alumni.

In June 2018 Saudi women will finally have the right to drive in their own country.

Ten of the State’s highest-achieving students have accepted UWA Fogarty Scholarships to study at The University of Western Australia.

This year’s scholarship winners are Amber Anderson, of Bramley (Bunbury Cathedral Grammar School); Katherine Dumas, of Mt Pleasant (Perth Modern School); Elodie Hayward, of Nedlands (St Hilda’s Anglican School for Girls); Lydia Hill Almeida, of Wembley (Perth Modern School); Leyton Hilmer, of South Perth (Wesley College); Emily Roberts, of  Balcatta (Mercedes College); Michaela Savage, of Trigg (St Mary’s Anglican Girls’ School); Caitlin Staer, of West Beach (Esperance Senior High School); Luke Thomas, of Huntingdale (St George’s Anglican Grammar School); and Nicholas Ellison, of Claremont (Trinity College).

Fogarty Foundation Executive Chair Annie Fogarty, UWA Vice-Chancellor Dawn Freshwater and UWA Fogarty Scholars past and present welcomed the 2018 scholarship winners at a breakfast this morning.

The UWA Fogarty Scholarships offer the State’s brightest and most committed students a generous scholarship for the entirety of their undergraduate degree, including honours, and a further contribution towards postgraduate studies.

Recipients are selected based on academic excellence and outstanding achievements in at least three of four categories (leadership, community involvement, the arts and sport).

Professor Freshwater said the UWA Fogarty Scholarships were some of the most significant scholarships offered in Australia.

“The winners are academic high achievers with the desire, motivation and ability to make a positive difference in our community,” she said.

“As well as financial assistance, the scholarship program includes leadership development opportunities and academic mentoring.”

Successful initiatives by past Fogarty Scholars include Bloom Lab, founded by Mark Shelton and Bharath Iyer to encourage, mentor and help budding young entrepreneurs get their ideas off the ground; WASTV, founded by Michael Taran and Binu Jayawardena to empower social change through a volunteer-run media network; and Ignite, founded by Sasha Quahe and her sister Ilona in 2011 to provide tutoring and mentoring to students from low socio-economic areas to help them reach their potential.

Dr Fogarty said the UWA Fogarty Scholarship program aimed to build a stronger community by investing in exceptional young people.

“We need leaders who will positively transform our community,” Dr Fogarty said. “By creating these opportunities, they are gaining knowledge and experience and the belief that they have the ability and skills to take the lead and make change happen.”

In August 2017, we hosted the Leader Series Breakfast.  Over 150 people came together at the University Club, UWA.  This represented UWA Fogarty Scholars, Business and community leaders and UWA leaders. An expert panel explored…how we can create a growing community in WA.  Check out what happened…

As part of the Leader Series Program, our annual breakfast sparked some thoughtful debate on what the future of WA will look like and how we can each take a part in creating a growing community in WA.  Esteemed guests took part in the event including the Honourable Sue Ellery MLC, Minister for Education and Training; Professor Dawn Freshwater, Vice Chancellor, UWA, the incoming UWA Chancellor, the Honourable Robert French, US Consul General, Rachel Cooke; and Janet Holmes á Court – UWA Fogarty Scholar Patron.

The discussion was led by an expert panel:

The moderator for the event was Elena Douglas, CEO Knowledge Society.

Upskilling our workforce and creating a pipeline of technology savvy workers, ready to take on the changing world of work was a common theme expressed on the day, as well as acknowledging the importance of keeping our best and brightest in WA.  They all identified the changing workplace as an opportunity for growth.

Professor Peter Klinken said “data is the gold of the future.” It is how we use it, that will become crucial. Naveen Unni stated the “technology is no longer a choice” and that organisations and individuals will have to demonstrate agility to make the most of these new opportunities. Mark Shelton concurred and saw that WA had an “opportunity to be the creators of tech, not the victim.”

Creating a pipeline of educated passionate workers, well prepared to take on new ways of working, retaining talent in WA, and creating tech opportunities to move WA forward were strong messages from the forum. Harnessing new skills and an entrepreneurial spirit was considered essential to create a growing community in WA.  An entrepreneurial mindset can move our state forward, and as Mark Shelton described this:  “To be an entrepreneur is to be thrown in the deep end and to learn as you go.”

Read a summary of the event here.