As we look forward to our fund’s future as Aware Super, we remain conscious of our past and the solid foundations that were built for our fund by Michael Dwyer AM, CEO First State Super (2004-2018).

Michael was renowned for his commitment to leadership and exemplified our ‘Members First’ culture which provides the foundation of our organisational strategy and investment approach. To honour his contribution to our fund, our members and our communities, we have established the Aware Super Michael Dwyer Scholarship for Emerging Leaders.

Many of our members belong to professional communities that provide care and support to others. They consider their career choice as a vocation, and they are motivated by a deep sense of purpose and commitment to help and care for others.

The Aware Super Michael Dwyer Scholarship for Emerging Leaders has been established to reflect the leadership and member first qualities Michael imbued within the fund. It provides a $25,000 grant to a member of Aware Super or VicSuper to support their leadership development, professional education or ongoing vocational training.

Download the application form

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2020 winner

The winner of the 2020 Scholarship was Aisha Mansfield. Aisha is a passionate Oral Health Coach at the Royal Dental Hospital of Melbourne (RDHM) and is a proud Aboriginal woman from the Moonbird People in Northern part of Tasmania. Aisha has used the scholarship to support her journey in completing her Bachelor of Oral Health at La Trobe University.

“As an early school leaver, I was unsure if university would be an option for me. It was the Aware Super’s Michael Dwyer Scholarship for emerging leaders that has given me this opportunity and has supported my transition from fulltime work to full time study.  The scholarship has allowed me to cover my first-year tuition and university fees, as well as supporting my education with the funds for dental equipment including tools, textbooks, laptop, and uniform.  Without the scholarship I believe a bachelor’s degree just would not have been a possibility for me.  I have a great relationship with the team members of Aware super who are always eager to hear of upcoming events, provide me with further networking opportunities and offer ongoing support.” 

This annual scholarship provides a $25,000 grant to one Aware Super or VicSuper member to support education, professional development and ongoing vocational training. The grant can be used to fund a structured education program offered by an Australian university or learning institute, a study tour or another learning endeavour or initiative that responds to the unique leadership interests of the applicant.

  • Before applying for this scholarship, please ensure that you read the scholarship terms and conditions.
  • To be eligible to apply for the scholarship applicants must:
  1. Be a current contributing member or active financial planning client of Aware Super or VicSuper.
  2. Be committed to continuing in your vocation for at least five years;
  3. Be willing to share their story and learnings with colleagues and the members of Aware Super or Vic Super after the professional development experience;
  4. Be an Australian citizen or permanent resident.

Scholarship applicants should:

  • Clearly outline the intended learning objectives, explain how the learning experience will further the professional aspirations of the applicant and describe how this knowledge will be applied in the workplace. 
  • Provide evidence of achievement and promotion within your chosen vocation and demonstrate commitment to the values of the vocation.
  • Articulate your enthusiasm for furthering their own professional development and education as a means of preparing for leadership opportunities in the future.
  • Clearly explain the anticipated value and benefit the requested professional development experience will provide.
  • Clearly explain how the gained knowledge and experience will be implemented in the workplace and shared with colleagues.
  • Provide detail of any other personal qualities or circumstances that would enhance your suitability for a scholarship.

A selection panel will review all scholarship applications and assess them against the selection criteria. The selection panel will include representatives of Aware Super or VicSuper and independent experts. After considering all applications, the selection panel will recommend the selected applicants for the approval of the Aware Super or VicSuper Trustees. The selection panel reserves the right to ask shortlisted applicants to participate in an interview.

Prior to starting your application, you should compile the following information ready to submit:

  • Applicant details including:
    - full name
    - phone number
    - address
    - email
    - Aware Super or VicSuper member or client number
  • Residence status
  • Number of years in your vocation
  • Employer details:
    - name of employer
    - address
    - name of person to whom you report or other senior officer who can act as a professional referee
    - professional referee’s email
    - professional referee’s phone
    • Please also outline your plan for professional development including:
    - Requested course/s (must be after January 2022)
    - Anticipated costs (including any travel / incidental costs associated with the study)
    - Your plan for sharing your knowledge with colleagues
    - Your plan for implementing your knowledge in the workplace (Maximum 300 words)
  • A personal statement about yourself, your commitment to leadership in your vocation and how the scholarship will contribute to your professional goals (maximum 300 words)
  • A reference from your senior officer / professional referee confirming their commitment to supporting your study and releasing you from work if necessary, to undertake the study (PDF or Word format attachment)

Download application form

Note for professional referees: Your reference is an important component of the scholarship application process and your written endorsement will have considerable weight in the process of panel deliberations. Your statement should make reference to the applicant’s suitability and potential is as a leader in their field of professional endeavour.

Once you have downloaded completed the application form, you must submit it via email as an attachment and send it to

Applications must be submitted by 11.59pm on 21 November, 2021

Please note that if you are selected as the successful recipient of this scholarship you will be required to submit a detailed proposal of your intended study, with associated expenditure, for approval prior to the funds being made available to you. 

For further information about the Aware Super Michael Dwyer Scholarship for Emerging leaders, please write to

We also encourage you to visit our website to learn more about us.

Investing for a better future

We're an industry fund that invests to do well for you while also doing good for all.

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