Formerly known as the Australian Federation of University Women Inc. (AFUW), the Australian Federation of Graduate Women (AFGW) is the national federation of associations of Graduate Women. As such it links women across Australia through its State and Territory Associations (STAs) and local branches to work in friendship, cooperation and understanding with each other and the network of women graduates worldwide, with a focus on working through initiatives in education for the advancement and wellbeing of women and girls.
AFGW is one of over 60 national federations and associations across all geographic regions that are members of the Graduate Women International (GWI). GWI has consultative status with the United Nations Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC), the International Labour Organization (ILO) and the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO). This enables GWI to advocate up to the highest levels, to promote the right to quality education of all girls and women. GWI is also a member of CHARGE (Collaborative for Harnessing Ambition and Resources for Girls’ Education).
AFGW works for the advancement and equality of opportunity for women worldwide, through initiatives in education, friendship and peace. AFGW places priority on providing financial assistance for women to undertake university studies in Australia and overseas.
The Adelaide University Women Graduates’ Association, as it was originally known, was founded in 1914 as the Women Graduates’ Club, as a sub-society of the Adelaide University Women Students’ Club founded in 1909. The South Australian branch of what became a global network had a number of name changes in line with the national and international associations – to AFUW-SA Inc. then Graduate Women South Australia (GWSA). After over 100 years, Graduate Women South Australia (GWSA) ceased in 2016. However, as an associated but independent entity, the Trust (AFGW-SA Inc. Trust Fund) and so the scholarships continue as an enduring legacy and testament to the wonderful work done by its members over that time.
AFUW-SA Inc. (under its earlier name) began raising scholarship funds in the 1920s, initially from a levy on membership subscriptions and then using some of the proceeds of the academic dress hiring service, which commenced in 1935. The trustees of the AFUW-SA Inc. Trust Fund operated an academic dress hiring service, based at the University of Adelaide, from 1935 to 2009. At least 75% of the income earned by the Trust Fund each year is distributed in the form of scholarships, with the remainder adding to the investment base. Since the academic wear hiring service ceased in 2009, the main sources of income are investment returns, donations and bequests. The Trustees of the AFUW-SA Inc. Trust Fund administer the Fund and the distribution of scholarships to women studying at South Australian universities.
The AFUW-SA Inc. Trust Fund is administered by volunteers.
Find out more about Graduate Women International (GWI) http://www.graduatewomen.org
Find out more about Australian Federation of Graduate Women (AFGW) http://afgw.org.au