Wednesday marked 142 years since the birth of Winston Churchill who went on to become Britain's inspirational leader, not least during World War II. And his legacy is enduring.
The Winston Churchill Memorial Trust was established to honour the memory of Sir Winston and offers fellowships each year to Australians to pursue a particular field of interest and apply the findings to their own community.
Eight Canberrans this week were named 2016 Churchill Fellows and we congratulate them all. They were:
- Zack Bryers: The Paul Tys Churchill Fellowship to investigate the "Cure Violence" approach to reducing violence within at-risk communities – USA, Brazil.
- Dr Lindy Cayzer: The Australian Biological Resources Study Churchill Fellowship to unlock critical taxonomic information on the Pittosporaceae in overseas herbariums – Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, Netherlands, France, Britain.
- Dr Jason Cummings: To explore innovative conservation trust business models, partnerships, policy settings and community drivers to facilitate the adoption and tailoring of arrangements in Australia – Britain.
- Ian Drayton: To explore the use of creative arts to manage and promote recovery from combat-related post-traumatic stress disorder – Britain, USA.
- Megan Gilmour: To investigate education system models for maintaining school connection for seriously sick children – Britain, Netherlands, Finland, Sweden, Canada.
- Ruth Osborne: To research youth dance programs focused on career pathways, mentorship and creative collaborations – Britain.
- Anthony Walker: The ACT government David Balfour Churchill Fellowship to establish best practice models for firefighter peer-led workplace health and fitness programs – USA, Netherlands, Italy, Britain.
- Dr Tushara Wickramariyaratne: To investigate models of psychological care for older transgender and gender diverse individuals – USA, Canada, the Netherlands.
The eight people from the ACT are among 106 individuals who were awarded Churchill Fellowships worth more than $2.7 million in total.
Trust chief executive Adam Davey said each of the fellows had a "distinct and important focus that will provide their communities with enormous benefits".
"The Churchill Trust is unique in what it asks of potential fellows: instead of rigid criteria for study, we ask them to identify what the area of need is for their community," he said.
"This allows ingenuity and creativity, and means that when fellows return, their research can be practically translated to positively impact their community.
"This year we received the highest number of applications for fellowship since 1965 – an impressive result for an award that has now been offered for more than 50 years."