In 2010, the ARC introduced the Kathleen Fitzpatrick and Georgina Sweet Australian Laureate Fellowships in recognition of the profound contributions of these researchers to their fields, and to advancing women, including in research.  The Fellowships are available to women Australian Laureate Fellows, and include additional funding of $20,000 per year, over five years, to support and promote women in research.

The Kathleen Fitzpatrick Australian Laureate Fellowship may be available to an outstanding Australian Laureate Fellow from the humanities, arts and social science disciplines.

The Georgina Sweet Australian Laureate Fellowship may be available to an outstanding Australian Laureate Fellow from the science and technology disciplines.

Kathleen Fitzpatrick Fellows

Georgina Sweet Fellows

Kathleen Fitzpatrick:  (1905–1990) 

  • Bachelor of Arts Hons, 1926 University of Melbourne (English and History)
  • Bachelor of Arts, 1928 Oxford University
  • Master of Arts, 1933 Oxford University

Kathleen Fitzpatrick was a visionary and charismatic lecturer in the department of history at the University of Melbourne from 1939 to 1962, who argued that history dealt with the human condition and who pioneered the inclusion of social, cultural and economic history in addition to more traditional themes. 

Fitzpatrick was a tireless advocate for women, and the humanities and social sciences.  She was president of the Council for Women in War Work, supported the foundation of the University Women’s College (Melbourne), University House and was a foundation member of the Australian Humanities Research Council—in which she was the only woman—and a founding fellow of the later Australian Academy of the Humanities.

The University of Melbourne awarded Kathleen Fitzpatrick an honorary Doctorate of Laws in 1983, and in 1989, she was appointed an Officer of the Order of Australia (AO) for her services to education, particularly in the field of history. 

“For her, the study of seventeenth-century writings was much more than a literary exercise; it encouraged students to discover individual people, their concerns and values.” (Australian Dictionary of Biography)

Further Reading:

Georgina Sweet: (1875–1946) 

  • Bachelor of Science, 1896 University of Melbourne
  • Master of Science, 1898 University of Melbourne
  • Doctor of Science, 1904 University of Melbourne

Georgina Sweet was a ground-breaking scientist, zoologist and was widely considered Australia’s foremost parasitologist in the early 20th Century.  Sweet was the first woman to graduate with a Doctor of Science from the University of Melbourne, the first woman to receive the David Syme Research Prize, the first woman to become a senior academic at the University of Melbourne, the first to be acting Professor in an Australian university and the first elected woman to the University Council.  She was a mentor for young women, and men, teaching biology at high schools and lecturing in biology and parasitology at the University of Melbourne.

Sweet was an ardent supporter of women’s rights, both within academia and more broadly, supporting the University Women’s College (Melbourne), advocating for women’s representation on the University Senate, and as a foundation member of the Victorian Women Graduates' Association. In 1935, Georgina Sweet was appointed an Officer of the Order of the British Empire, for services to women’s movements.  

Further Reading: