Ellen Rigby Memorial Scholarship

Western Sydney University

Ellen Rigby was a much-loved family matriarch who died on 30 June 2019 at 91 years of age. She immigrated to Australia in 1965 with her husband and five children and settled in Old Toongabbie. After her husband became ill and was unable to work, she went back to work as a cleaner, first at Parramatta Psychiatric Hospital and then at Rooty Hill RSL. She created a bright future for her family through sheer hard work and determination. She was a strong advocate for education and the role of women in society. Ellen proudly attended the university graduations of two of her children, many of her grandchildren and her great grandchildren. She was irreverent, intelligent and determined.

Donna Groves, Ellen’s granddaughter, credits Ellen as being the inspiration for everything she has achieved. She believes her grandmother was the best and most admirable person she has known and therefore founded this scholarship in her name.

Hard work, determination, honour, loyalty, a commitment to supporting women and a strong sense of social justice were core components of who Ellen was. Donna and the family would like to see the essence of Ellen in the successful applicants.

Eligibility & Course(s)
New or continuing students at the University of Western Sydney. Any undergraduate degree within the School of Humanities & Communication Arts, School of Social Sciences, and School of Psychology.

$5,000 per year for duration of degree (to a maximum of 5 years)

Applicants must:       

  • be currently enrolled, or intending to enrol, in any undergraduate degree in the School of Humanities & Communication Arts, School of Social Sciences, and School of Psychology;
  • be female;
  • be able to demonstrate financial hardship, as per Western Sydney University's Opportunity and Equity Definitions;
  • reside in Western Sydney;
  • be Australian citizens or permanent residents.
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