Rosemary Richards Award

The Rosemary Richards Award is in recognition of the significant contribution that Rosemary made to the AEU as an organisation and to all its members, women in particular.

Across the AEU, women’s employment rights and women’s union participation has been steadily advanced due to an active, committed and predominantly female membership, but challenges still remain.

When Rosemary passed away in 2006, the AEU Federal Executive endorsed the establishment of an Annual Rosemary Richards Award which is now in its 13th year. This award provides a woman member the opportunity to increase her skills and experience in the union’s work at a state/territory/national or international level.

All financial women members of the AEU are encouraged to apply for the Award which is aimed at extending women members’ experiences and participation at all levels of the AEU (or international public education union) by supporting initiatives including but not limited to:
•    the design and implementation of a discrete project;
•    the establishment of a work-shadowing arrangement or a mentoring arrangement;
•    research or study experiences; and
•    formal and/or informal training and development opportunities.

The scholarship is valued up to $10,000 per year.

Previous recipients have addressed topics such as:
"How to say no"
"Contract and TRT teacher networks"
"Unionism and women"

Applying for the Award

The award is advertised every year in late March through the AEU’s websites, journals and networks.  

A full background document, application form, and tribute to Rosemary will be available at:

Women members should apply by downloading the application and filling out the nomination form on the AEU website. Please refer to the selection criteria when you are considering applications.
An AEU Federal Executive Judging Committee considers all applications at its June meeting and the successful candidate will be informed immediately following that meeting.

The 2020 recipient is yet to be announced.

About Rosemary Richards

Rosemary Richards was a proud feminist, unionist and educator. She was a respected leader, colleague and friend who played a crucial role in shaping the AEU as an organisation which reflects feminist principles. Sadly, Rosemary passed away in November 2006 after a long battle with illness.

Beginning her career in primary school teaching, Rosemary joined the Women and Girls in Education group in the 1970s. She was appointed as the ACT Coordinator for the Elimination of Sexism in Education and produced the major report Sexism in Education in the ACT. She was the Secretary of the ACT Branch of the AEU (formerly the ACTTF) from 1987 and its President from 1990–1995. She was a member of the AEU Federal Executive from 1990-1995 and assisted in the formation of the national AEU.

To learn more about Rosemary, her work and life, go to