The Fulbright Program has more than 370,000 alumni from over 160 countries worldwide. Fulbright alumni include 33 current or former heads of state or government, 54 Nobel Laureates, 82 Pulitzer Prize winners, 29 MacArthur Foundation Fellows, 16 Presidential Medal of Freedom recipients, and thousands of leaders across the private, public and non-profit sectors. Five thousand of those alumni belong to the Australian-American program and received their Fulbright awards from the 1950s on. You are a part of this roll call of excellence.

We aspire to deepen and expand our connection with you. We want you to be committed and contributing partners in the fostering of mutual understanding through academic and cultural exchange between Australia and the U.S. that the Fulbright Program promotes.

Some of our alumni

Sharon Davis Professional Scholars

Home InstitutionMonash
Host InstitutionHarvard University
Award Name2011 Fulbright Professional Scholarship
Award Year2011

“The Murray-Darling Basin is an important and iconic river basin, at both the national and international scale. It covers around 1 million square kilometers and produces approximately 40 per cent of Australia’s agricultural production. The Basin system also contains more than 30,000 wetlands and many ecological systems of international significance including 16 Ramsar Convention listed sites.”

Dr Sharon Davis, General Manager with the Murray-Darling Basin Authority will have the opportunity to contribute to the Harvard Water Initiative at Harvard University through a Fulbright Professional Scholarship.

Sharon’s research will share the Australian experience of setting sustainable water resource diversion limits, identify potential opportunities for future development, and evaluate the applicability of the approach used in the Murray-Darling Basin to other countries. “Australia is a recognised international leader in water resource management and has a significant history in water reform,” Sharon said. “Over the last 20 years Australia has made major steps forward in water resource management, most recently through the Commonwealth Water Act 2007, which requires sustainable water diversion limits to be set across the Murray-Darling Basin.” 

“The project is designed to contribute to advances in water resource management in Australia and internationally.” Sharon has a BA (Hons) (Physical Geography) Monash University and a PhD (Civ. Eng.) (Hydrology), Monash University. She received the Murray-Darling Basin Commission Leadership Award; is currently the leader of the Environmental Planning Team within the Murray-Darling Basin Authority, and was a Member of the Murray-Darling Basin Reform Taskforce. She represented the Murray-Darling Basin Commission on the Mekong River Commission/Murray-Darling Basin Commission Strategic Liaison Partnership Mission in 2007.

In her spare time she enjoys skiing, bushwalking and trekking, adventure racing, triathlons, good coffee and travel. The prestigious Fulbright program is the largest educational scholarship of its kind, created by U.S. Senator J. William Fulbright and the U.S. Government in 1946. Aimed at promoting mutual understanding through educational exchange, it operates between the U.S. and 155 countries. In Australia, the scholarships are funded by the Australian and U.S. Governments and corporate partners and administered by the Australian-American Fulbright Commission in Canberra. Sharon is one of 26 talented Australians to be recognised as a Fulbright Scholar in 2011.


Hannah Barrett Postgraduate Students

Home InstitutionUniversity of Massachusetts
Host InstitutionThe Australian National University
Award NamePostgraduate Scholarship
Award Year2012

“As a low-incidence disability, deafness has drawn relatively little attention from the academic community, but this is likely to change. Thanks to the aging of the baby boomer generation, the ranks of the hard-of-hearing are about to skyrocket.”

Ms. Hannah Barrett, a recent graduate in psychology from University of Massachusetts, Amherst, has won a Fulbright Postgraduate Scholarship to spend a year at the Australian National University in Canberra. Through her Fulbright, Hannah will undertake psychology research to assess how to overcome the stigmatizing effects of hearing loss.

“Hearing loss is often stigmatized, and this in turn affects the self-esteem and well-being of the hard-of-hearing,” Hannah said.

“It is more important than ever to analyze—and try to relieve—the social, psychological and health effects of hearing loss. It is important as well to increase the level of understanding between the hard-of-hearing and the larger population,” Hannah said.

Hannah says that her life’s goal is to understand how people negotiate deafness and situations in which they experience stigma and social and psychological isolation. As a person who has been deaf since birth, she knows firsthand what such experiences are like.

Hannah plans to work with two researchers at The Australian National University on a controlled study investigating the use of social support for reducing the incidence and effects of stigma and social isolation.

“Our hope is that members of the intervention group develop more accepting attitudes towards their hearing difficulties; adopt, with family and friends, more inclusive perceptions of social identity; share coping and resilience building ideas; and participate in group-wide and even community-wide efforts to put lasting social supports in place,” Hannah said.

She was drawn to Australia, where researchers first developed cochlear implant technology and continue to conduct much of the best psychological research on hearing loss.

While acquiring a BA in psychology, Hannah was Historian for the UMass Psi Chi Chapter and worked in a variety of psychology labs. She won an Honors Research Assistant Award, among other awards. She also reviewed arts and entertainments events for her university newspaper and volunteered as a teacher’s assistant in an advanced comedy course.


Jenna Margaret Crowe-Riddell Postgraduate Students

Home InstitutionUniversity of Adelaide, School of Biological Sciences (Genetics and Evolution)
Host InstitutionUniversity of Florida (TBC)
Award NameFulbright Postgraduate Scholarship
DisciplineBiological Sciences
Award Year2016

Jenna is a PhD candidate in Genetics and Evolution at the University of Adelaide where she researches vertebrate sensory systems.

Jenna grew up in Canberra and received a Bachelor of Science from the Australian National University in 2011. She started volunteering for turtle conservation research and began to SCUBA dive. In 2012, she was invited to participate in field expeditions to Ashmore Reef in the Timor Sea. Unfortunately, these once pristine environments had recently experienced a drastic and inexplicable decline in sea snake populations. This motivated Jenna to undertake research into this extinction event in the following year, receiving First Class Honours from the University of Adelaide in 2014.

To achieve conservation goals, Jenna believes that there must be an open channel between science and society, and that conservation in the inevitable byproduct of a society that is engaged with science and the living world. A passionate communicator, Jenna is an up-and-coming stand-up comedian, detailing the oddities of the biological world on stage. She plans to use these skills to foster scientific literacy and enthusiasm in the community. She has been invited to speak at the Natural History Museum in London and at university Open Day events, and hopes to be one of Australia’s foremost science communicators.

Sea snakes are poorly understood but fascinating examples of evolutionary transitions. Jenna aims to uncover novel sensory abilities in these animals, taking a multidisciplinary approach that builds a picture of the sensory system at every level: from genetic, to population, to species, and the ecosystem. The Fulbright scholarship will allow Jenna to research alongside world experts in reptile evolution, behaviour and physiology. Once complete, the project can serve as a model for integrative biological research that can be easily transferred to other species upon return to Australia.

Sadie Heckenberg Postgraduate Students

Home InstitutionMonash University and University of South Australia
Host InstitutionUniversity of Hawai’i
Award NameIndigenous Postgraduate Scholarship
DisciplineArts (Indigenous Oral History)
Award Year2014

“I am truly excited to be able to study with some of the best minds in the Indigenous Oral History field.”

Sadie Heckenberg is currently undertaking a PhD specialising in Indigenous Oral History, including research undertaken at Monash University and the David Unaipon College of Indigenous Education and Research at the University of South Australia. She will study at the University of Hawaii Manoa, Honolulu, from August 2014 at the Centre for Oral History.

This research aims to address the ever-growing need to protect Indigenous spoken cultural knowledge. By developing her knowledge of Indigenous epistemologies of the Pacific, she will in turn, build the depth and strength of research to bring back into the Wiradjuri community (NSW).

“I am truly excited to be able to study with some of the best minds in the Indigenous Oral History field. The Hawaiian knowledge systems have been nurtured and maintained by wise Eldership reflected not only through the achievements of Hawaiian academic research but in society itself.”

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