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Monday, 11 April 2022

A West Australian science teacher has won a prestigious national scholarship for emerging leaders. 

Clare Johansen, a science teacher at St Mary’s Anglican Girls School in Perth and member of the school’s Senior Executive Team, has been named this year's winner of the Aware Super Michael Dwyer Scholarship for Emerging Leaders. The annual scholarship offers a $25,000 grant to support the winner’s professional development. 

For Ms Johansen, that means a contribution towards a Master of Business Administration (MBA), and support to establish a mentoring group to encourage more women into leadership positions

“Female mentors and role models can play a major role in helping more women step into senior positions,” Ms Johansen said. “This is one of the ways we can help overcome gender disparity in educational leadership.” 

Ms Johansen has set herself a goal of becoming a school principal within five years. Research carried out in recent years by the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) found that in Australia, women made up 62% of teachers yet only 40% of principals1

St Mary’s Principal Mrs Judith Tudball, who supported Ms Johansen’s application for the scholarship, added: “Clare is an exceptional colleague and I have no doubt she will achieve her leadership aspirations”.

Aware Super Chief Executive Officer Deanne Stewart said Ms Johansen was a deserving winner of the scholarship. 

“Ms Johansen’s demonstrated such passion for education and her commitment to her vocation as a frontline worker is inspiring, as is her determination to help more women become leaders in the sector,” said Ms Stewart, herself a daughter of teachers. 

“Like Ms Johansen, 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. 

“It’s impossible to overstate the role that our teachers, principals and others in the education system play in helping young Australians realise their potential. 

“Our fund especially understands the importance of female representation in senior leadership roles. Apart from anything else, it will help reduce the gender pay gap and in turn the super pay gap, which we know will lead to better retirement outcomes for women.” 

The Michael Dwyer scholarship was set up to honour the contribution to Aware Super of former Chief Executive Officer Michael Dwyer, who was renowned for his commitment to leadership and exemplified the Fund’s ‘Members First’ culture.

Each year, a $25,000 grant is awarded to one Aware Super or VicSuper member. It can be used to fund a structured education program offered by an Australian university or learning institute, a study tour or another learning initiative that responds to the unique leadership interests of the applicant.

For information on the 2022 scholarship application process or to see past winners visit

1 OECD Teaching and Learning International survey (TALIS) - Australia

For media enquiries, contact:

Meredith Williams, External Affairs Manager

t:  0405508788


Note to Editors

Previously known as First State Super, we changed our name to Aware Super in September 2020.

Aware Super is a name that reflects our members and what we stand for. It echoes the strengths of our past, aligning to our purpose to be a force for good in superannuation, retirement, and advice, driving better outcomes for our members, their families, and communities. 

Aware Super has been the fund for people who value community since 1992, and we’re now one of Australia’s largest funds and continuing to grow. We merged with VicSuper and WA Super in 2020 and now manage $155 billion in savings for more than 1 million members located across the country.

Our members work in roles that breathe life into their communities and they expect us to do the same. So, we invest in assets that we believe will make a positive difference today – improving our communities, building a more a sustainable economy and supporting employment both locally and globally at the same time as providing strong long-term returns. 

Discover how we’re helping members do well financially while doing good in the world: Visit