Gould League Scholarship

2019 Winner

Congratulations to our 2019 scholarship recipient, Juliet Talarico who is a community educator at Rahamim Ecology Centre. Juliet is a skilled environmental educator who is establishing a permaculture course and garden for refugees and asylum seekers in transition housing. She has also dedicated herself to empowering women, children and young people to connect with issues of environmental justice.

The Gould League scholarship will provide Juliet with financial assistance to attend the 2019 AAEE NSW Conference, ActiveNature, in Kirrawee NSW in October 2019.

Applications for the Gould League Scholarship will reopen in 2020.

Purpose of the scholarship

The purpose of this scholarship is to provide teachers, tertiary students and environmental educators with financial assistance (up to $1000) to attend the Australian Association for Environmental Education (AAEE) NSW bi-annual conference or, in the off year, the AAEE national conference, or an equivalent professional learning activity.

The scholarship is a legacy left by the Gould League of NSW to assist future environmental and sustainability educators in their learning and to develop their skills and knowledge to:

  • integrate sustainability, science and geography into their curriculum
  • connect people with their natural environment
  • empower the community to live more sustainably.

To be eligible for the scholarship, applicants must be able to demonstrate they are upholding the values of the Gould League. You can read more about the background of the Award below.

Guidelines and Selection Criteria

Applications from AAEE members who work as teachers, or with teachers or students, in NSW primary and secondary schools will be accepted. Students studying Environmental and Sustainability subjects in tertiary institutions are also welcome to apply.

The scholarship winner will be selected by a selection panel, based on the following criteria.

  • Current member of AAEE
  • Upholding the values of the Gould League
  • Supporting environmental education or education for sustainability
  • Likely to benefit from the funded professional development opportunity
  • Willing to pass on learning to school, university or work place
  • Willing to submit a post-conference report

The successful applicant will also need to be available for media coverage as required upon receiving the scholarship. Preference will be given to applicants who have not previously received the scholarship.

Scholarship acquittal

A post-conference report must be submitted within 3 months of the conference, and may be used in AAEE publications. The topic you are asked to address is:

"How the experience enhanced your current work, any ideas, skills and strategies that you learnt from the conference experience, and how you have shared them with others."

Further information

For further information about the scholarship, please contact Nell Graham, Ph: (02) 9029 5670, E: 

2018 Winner

The winner of the 2018 Gould League scholarship was Lisa Siegel.

Lisa is an experienced community educator and PhD student at Southern Cross University (School of Education) and is a skilled environmental educator with over 20 years experience in developing and facilitating educational experiences for children, young people, and adults. She is also the current co-convenor of the Mid-North Coast Sustainability Education Network.
The Gould League scholarship provided Lisa with financial assistance to attend the 2018 AAEE National Conference on the Gold Coast.

Lisa writes of the conference: "..whereas sometimes one can feel quite isolated doing environmental education work, here we were with a whole group of people with similar values and ideas about working towards planetary balance and wholeness. The new connections I made and old connections I strengthened were a highlight of the experience."

Read Lisa's full conference reflections

2017 Winner

The winner of the 2017 Gould League scholarship was Julie Overton.

Julie is a past teacher at the Field of Mars Environmental Education Centre. She has recently been appointed a Fellow of the Royal Society for Arts (RSA) - a network committed to social progress and environmental protection. She plans to share her Conference learnings through the RSA as well as other organisations and networks she is involved with.

Julie writes of the conference: "I am being deadly serious when I say this is one of the best conferences I have ever attended. There were so many highlights it is hard to work out where to start."

Read Julie's full conference reflections

Background to the scholarship

For 100 years the Gould League of NSW (originally Gould League of Bird Lovers) was an institution in NSW public schools. The organisation originated at Wellington Public School in 1910 as the idea of a young teacher, Walter Finigan, and his head master Edward Webster. It grew quickly and was established state wide in the same year. The Gould League has contributed over time to the field of bird study, nature study, natural science, conservation and environmental education in NSW and Australia.

In the early years of the Gould League there was no other organisation dedicated to the preservation and study of birds and being able to relate that to students in a practical way. It was a natural progression that the Gould League of NSW branched out and became a pioneer organisation in public schools for environmental education.

The Gould League also had a strong voice in the forming of environmental policy and influencing opinions on environmental issues in the wider community. But most people would remember their introduction to the Gould League through their membership and pledge to the environment, and gaining the benefits of practical learning in their primary education.

In 2010 the Gould League of NSW celebrated its centenary at Wellington Public School in central NSW where it had started. It was decided that the Gould League NSW had reached an end of an era and that Environmental Education had come a long way in those 100 years, so the NSW Chapter of Gould League has wrapped up. “This scholarship will provide an enduring reminder of the early beginnings of Environmental Education in NSW and Australia”. (Gould League History, David Tribe)