Issued 18 April 2011
Social enterprise solutions to long-term poverty and research into malnutrition among indigenous people are the two topics that will be the focus of the inaugural Anne Wexler Scholars. The Anne Wexler Australian-American Studies Scholarships in Public Policy are part of the Australian Government’s Australia Awards program. One scholar from Australia and one from the United States will be chosen annually for this prestigious new award.
Ms Caroline Adler, a Master’s student in public policy at Harvard University’s John F. Kennedy School of Government, is the inaugural Australian winner. Caroline will use her scholarship to fund the second year of her Masters of Public Policy at the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University. Caroline’s Master’s research explores innovative workforce development policy interventions. Her goal is to develop social enterprise solutions to help urban Australians who experience long-term poverty to gain work skills and achieve increased economic opportunities.
“I believe it is critical to find proactive solutions that assist individuals who experience entrenched disadvantage and poverty to gain skills, opportunities and incentives to re-enter and remain in the social and economic mainstream. I am convinced that social enterprise is an important vehicle to achieve this goal.” Caroline said.
"This is a long-term project and one in which I hope to have significant impact in Australia as a social enterprise leader.”
Ms Katherine Thurber, a student in Social/Cognitive Neuroscience and Global Health/Health Policy at Harvard University is the inaugural U.S. winner of the award.
Katherine will use her Anne Wexler Scholarship to undertake a Master of Philosophy at the ANU Centre for Epidemiology and Population Health, studying malnutrition among Aboriginal Australians.
"Malnutrition is a critical issue facing Indigenous people in many countries, and further research in this area could lead to vast improvements in health outcomes,” Katherine said.
Katherine gained experience with the issue in summer 2010 at a rural hospital in Rukungiri, Uganda, where she worked with fellow Harvard students to establish a malnutrition treatment program.
In 2009, the Australian Government announced the establishment of this prestigious annual scholarship program to recognise the many contributions by Mrs Anne Wexler in fostering Australian-American relations. The Awards are funded through the Australian Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations (DEEWR) and administered by the Australian-American Fulbright Commission. The Scholarships are valued at up to AUD140,000 each.