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The Ruth Dobson Scholarship is now open to students enrolling in the Master of Diplomacy or the Master of Diplomacy (Advanced) program at ANU. The scholarship is now open to both international and domestic students, and applications close on Friday 30 November 2018.
The Ruth Dobson Scholarship covers tuition fees for the two year (96 unit) Masters program, and is awarded to attract the highest achieving students for the advancement of Diplomatic Studies.
The scholarship has been established to commemorate Australia’s first female career diplomat to be an Australian ambassador – Miss Ruth Dobson.
In 2018 the inaugural award was presented to its first recipient, Sally Swinnen, by Robyn Mudie, Executive Director of the Diplomatic Academy at DFAT – Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade. Ms Mudie gave a moving speech where she reflected on Miss Dobson’s career, achievements, and the culture of the Department at the time, and since.
Ruth Dobson was the first Australian female career diplomat to be appointed as Head of Mission, as Australia’s Ambassador to Denmark from 1974-78 and went on to serve as Australia’s Ambassador to Ireland before her retirement in 1981.
Ruth’s appointment was a milestone for the Australian diplomatic service. It marked a significant shift away from a time when women were able to serve as – predominantly junior - diplomats, but with very measured expectations as to how long they could serve, due to the marriage bar (only lifted in 1966) and as to how high they might aim in terms of seniority.
Ruth’s story gives an insight to the determination and persistence required by women to overcome and exceed the barriers they faced in many professions at the time, including within the diplomatic service.
This year we look forward to a strong field of applicants for the two scholarships available.