TurksLegal & Women in Banking & Finance Scholarship

2020 Turks WiBF Leadership Scholarship is now closed. The Scholarship Winner will be announced by WiBF in early 2021 (details TBC ). 

TurksLegal and Women in Banking & Finance (WiBF) are strong advocates for excellence in the Australian banking and finance industry. Now in its seventh year, the Turks WiBF Leadership Scholarship is an exciting joint initiative between TurksLegal and WiBF to support the professional growth of excellence in the industry by providing WiBF members with a significant career development opportunity.

The Scholarship Winner will travel to Melbourne to participate in the Women in Leadership Program in October 2021 (dates TBC), a one week course run by the highly esteemed Melbourne Business School at the University of Melbourne. Melbourne Business School is one of just three Australian business schools in the Financial Times’ Global MBA rankings 2020.

This course is designed to develop women with purpose into leaders who have a profound impact in their organisations, communities and wider society. It provides established women leaders with the opportunity to invest in themselves, and transform the way that they lead, influence and innovate in organisations and challenging contexts. The prize includes return flights (for non-Melbourne residents), course fees, materials, meals and accommodation valued at up to AU$11,000.

Watch the interview with the 2019 Scholarship winner, Rowena Reese-Poole below.

This Scholarship is open to all members of WiBF. Each entrant must be a current financial member of WiBF or an employee of a Corporate Member. Entrants must work in the Banking and Finance industry. Applicants should have a minimum of 7 years’ experience working in a banking or financial organisation and be keen to take the next step in their career. The scholarship particularly invites applicants with demonstrated leadership experience and a commitment to creating positive change for future women leaders in the banking and financial services sector.

To apply, entrants must complete an online application form (on the WiBF website) and provide a response not exceeding 3,500 characters (including spaces) (approx 500 words) to one of the following two questions:

Q1: What do you think will be the positive impacts of the response to COVID-19; both within your organisation and the broader financial ecosystem (customers, suppliers etc) in terms of gender equality?

Q2: What do you see as the key impacts and implications for consumers of financial services in an open banking regime, as the world continues to embrace digital pathways to conducting business?

Consideration will be given to the clarity and intent of your response to the question chosen, noting the word limit, as well as your responses to questions pertaining to:

  • your experience in the banking and finance industry
  • why you have applied for the Turks WiBF Leadership Scholarship and how you feel you would benefit from being the recipient; and
  • any prior contribution towards the advancement of women in the banking and finance sector in your career to date.

To complete the online application form and to view the terms and conditions please go to: www.wibf.org.au/turkslegal-scholarship/

Applications closed 5pm (AEST) on Wednesday, 21 October 2020.

The Judging Panel will determine a number of Scholarship finalists by simple majority. The finalists must be available to attend a 10-30 minute interview with the Judging Panel during the week commencing 23 November 2020.

Following the interviews, the finalist determined by the Judging Panel to have produced the best written and personal response will be awarded the Major Prize. The Scholarship Winner will be announced by WiBF in late 2020/early 2021 (details TBC ).

Notification will be given to the Scholarship Winner as soon as practicable after the conclusion of the judging.

The judging panel comprises the following senior industry leaders:

  • Sally Auld, Chief Investment Officer, JBWere
  • Fiona Lawrence, Group Risk, General Manager, Compliance, Bank of Queensland
  • Belinda McGuinness, Executive Director, Group Integrity Officer, Macquarie Group
  • Julie Hunter, Managing Director, Banks and Government Client Solutions, CBA and WiBF President
  • Jen Dalitz, Chief Executive Officer, WiBF
  • David McCrostie, Partner, Head of Banking, TurksLegal
Rowena Rees-Poole, Head of Communications, Media & Technology, Client Solutions Group, Institutional Banking & Markets, Commonwealth Bank was the winner of the 2019 TurksLegal WiBF Leadership Scholarship.
Rowena produced a powerful written submission in response to the question about what is the major challenge to the banking and finance sector over the next 5 years and how, as a CEO, would she would drive her organizations’ response to that challenge. Rowena’s thoughtful and articulate response to the challenge of the pace of change was evocative and impassioned; the judges felt compelled to interview her and explore those ideas further face to face. At interview, Rowena’s ideas were tested; her history of and potential for expanding an ambassadorial role promoting the interests of WiBF investigated and, in the end, Rowena won the judge’s over and she was awarded the Scholarship ahead of a hot field of finalists.
Click here to read the full announcement.


Be inspired and watch this short video of the 2019 Scholarship winner, Rowena Rees-Poole of Commonwealth Bank talking about her experience entering and winning the scholarship. This was Rowena's second time entering the scholarship and she encourages anyone who has entered before and wasn't successful to give it another go - don't give up!

Past Winner Interviews