Mary Stephen's Scholarship in OT launched

24 August 2010

The Dean and faculty staff along with alumni and friends of the Faculty came together on Wednesday 11 August to celebrate the launch of the new Mary Stephen's Scholarship for postgraduate research in the field of occupational therapy.

Alumni from the graduating class of 1945
Alumni from the graduating class of 1945

The scholarship was generously funded from the estate of Mary Stephen's - a leader in occupational therapy in Australia. Mary was well known as a pioneer in the field in Australia during the 1950's and 60's.

Mary's passion begun as recruit for the Australian Army where she served from 1942 working in hospitals as an Occupational Therapist in Heidelberg, Goulburn Brisbane and Concord. Mary's international experience continued with work placements throughout the UK, Europe, USA and Canada. Returning frequently to Australia, Mary took up a post at the Prince Henry Hospital from 1962 to 1964 helping to develop the OT department during this time managed the severe poliomyelitis epidemic. By 1969 Mary was appointed as a consultant to the Japanese Government at the National Rehabilitation Centre in Tokyo and took on responsibility for developing training programs for Japanese therapists and technicians.

Mary's family, her sister Jan Morgan and niece Julie Ayliffe, were among friends who reminisced about Mary's life as researcher, teacher, mentor and friend, and her lifelong dedication to her profession.

Following the launch, current and recently graduated researchers joined the celebration to speak about their research into rehabilitation for the mentally ill, driver safety and children with developmental disabilities. Indeed many alumni were delighted to see the leading research being undertaken in occupational therapy at Cumberland Campus.

The 'Mary Stephen's Scholarship for postgraduate research in occupational therapy" will enable one of our best and brightest health sciences students to follow in Mary's footsteps, pursing pioneering research in occupational therapy.

This new bequest continues Mary's work in perpetuity. Support such as this is vital to assisting our students to reach their full potential

The scholarship will be open for application in 2011 and more information will be available at that time on the faculty website.