Kay Poustie Scholarship

The  2024 Kay Poustie Scholarship will be open on 5 March and close on 27 March 2024.

The Kay Poustie Scholarship supports the development of professional staff working in the Western Australian public library network and aims to enhance library services through evidence-based research and experiential learning experiences that contribute to the achievement of outcomes aligned to the WA Public Libraries Strategy 2022-2026.

The annual scholarship offers $5,000 to enable library professionals and practitioners to undertake research locally or internationally to experience innovative and best practice library services that have the potential to enhance the Western Australian public library network. Recipients of the scholarship are required to produce a research report and present their findings.

The State Library of Western Australia, Public Libraries WA Inc., ALIAWest and numerous personal donors are financial supporters of the scholarship. You can support the Kay Poustie Scholarship and read past research reports.

Applications for the 2024 Kay Poustie Scholarship will be aligned to the pillars of the WA Public Libraries Strategy 2022-2026:

Libraries Strengthening Communities

  • Literacy and lifelong learning.
  • Individual and community wellbeing and resilience.
  • Stronger and more connected communities.

Digitally Inclusive Libraries

  • Free and universal access to computers, emerging technologies and the internet.
  • Building digital skills and confidence.
  • Efficient access to collections and services.

Public Libraries as an Essential Community Asset

  • Impact and value of public library services as the basis for informed decisions on strategic investment in community focused services.

Applicants must:

  • Be a qualified library practitioner working within the Western Australian public library network including the State Library of Western Australia;
  • If the application is from a team, then at least one active team member must be a qualified library practitioner working with the Western Australian public library network including the State Library of Western Australia;
  • Have at least two years of professional experience in the library sector;
  • Be able to demonstrate a commitment to the library profession through continuing professional development; and
  • Be over the age of 18.

Conditions of Scholarship

The applicant will be required to:

  • Submit an application for the funds detailing how the project will be carried out as per the details below.
  • Prepare a formal written research report suitable for presentation to their Council, Public Libraries WA Inc. and the State Library of Western Australia, outlining the research undertaken, the findings and clear recommendations which could be applied to the Western Australian public library network.
  • Share the research findings and how they could be utilised to assist the Western Australian public library network. This may be through presentations and/or an article for a professional journal, but as a minimum will include a presentation to a Public Libraries WA Inc. meeting and a State Library of Western Australia staff meeting.
  • Be available for the Library Board Awards night hosted by the State Library of Western Australia normally held in July (date to be advised)*.
  • Be available to participate in photos, sound recordings, video, and acknowledge that the State Library of Western Australia and Public Libraries WA Inc. has the right to use publicity materials in any medium (including without limitation, the internet) and in any reasonable manner it sees fit to publicise the Scholarship.
  • Complete the research report and present the findings to the State Library of Western Australia and Public Libraries WA Inc. by the closing date (2024 date to be advised).

*Applicants from Tier 2 or 3 public libraries may access State Library of Western Australia Travel Grants to support attendance at the Library Board Awards in Perth.

Eligible Costs

A maximum of $5000 will be awarded to one applicant (an individual or a team) with the proposed use of the funds outlined in the Scholarship application. The funds may be applied to: 

  • Travel to support the research.
  • Attendance at professional development events related to the research topic.
  • Other costs associated with the research (as detailed in the Scholarship application).

Scholarship recipients are required to detail any in-kind support sought or expected to receive.

Application Assessment Criteria

  • Alignment to the outcomes of the WA Public Libraries Strategy 2022-2026.
  • Benefit provided by the research in demonstrating the value of public libraries and/or enabling the delivery of community outcomes.
  • How the applicant proposes sharing the knowledge gained with the wider profession.

Merit of the applicant

  • That the applicant(s) current qualification (level of achievement, knowledge and expertise) is sufficient for the proposed project.
  • The applicant's written proposal demonstrates clarity, analytical thought and excellent communication skills. 
  • Shortlisted applicants may be required to present their proposal to the selection panel.

No late applications will be accepted and the decision of the Selection Panel is final. No correspondence will be entered into regarding the Selection Panel's decision.  Both the State Library of Western Australia and Public Libraries WA Inc. reserve the right not to award a Scholarship.

Selection Panel

The selection panel will comprise a nominee from each of the following organisations:

  • State Library of Western Australia
  • Public Libraries WA Inc

Applications for the 2024 Kay Poustie Scholarship will be open from Tuesday, 5 March 2024, until 5.00 pm Wednesday, 27 March 2024.

Applications open 5 March 2024

* You will need to create a free Submittable account to apply for a grant.

Past Scholarship Recipients and their Scholarship Outcomes

2023No award was presented.
2022No award was presented.
2021The Kay Poustie Scholarship for 2020 was not awarded due to the COVID-19 restrictions on travel.
2020The Kay Poustie Scholarship for 2020 was not awarded due to the COVID-19 restrictions on travel.
2019No award was presented.
2018Shane Dowling 2018 (PDF 746KB)
Chantay Mallett 2018 (PDF 2.4MB)
Teena Miller 2018 (PDF 615KB)                                                            
2017No award was presented.
2016Jessica Madureira 2016 (PDF 9.8MB)
2015Megan Sullivan 2015 (PDF 1.8MB)
2014Jane Jones 2014 (PDF 2.3MB)
2013Ruth Campbell-Hicks 2013 (PDF 2.3MB)
2012Kirstie Nicholson 2012 (PDF 766KB)

 

Photograph of Kay PousiteKay Poustie OAM (1944–2009) Kay Poustie’s long and distinguished career in the library profession displayed her passion for libraries as a library manager, as a leader in the profession, and as a Member and later Chairman of the Library Board of Western Australia. In all these spheres she demonstrated hard work, dedication and a can-do attitude. As a librarian she was held in high regard by colleagues locally, nationally and internationally.

Kay began her career in Victoria before moving to Western Australia in 1978 where she had a 22-year association with the City of Stirling. In 1985 Kay became City Librarian and later Manager, Libraries, Arts and Culture, with responsibility for six public libraries, 85 staff, and a $4.5 million dollar budget, as well as community arts, exhibitions and cultural activities for the City. During this time all branches were automated, many of the libraries were relocated or renovated and she initiated a number of innovative programs.

Kay first joined the Library Board of Western Australia in 1990, serving until 1993 as a representative for the Local Government Association. She returned in 1998 and served for a further eight years as representative of the Australian Library and Information Association (ALIA). Her ability and experience was recognised when she was elected Chairman of the Library Board briefly in 2001, and then between 2002 and 2006.

During this time, Kay oversaw major developments in relations between the State Library and WA public libraries, including the signing of the Framework Agreement and the allocation of a further $10.3 million in state funds for library resources. Other achievements included the launch of the Better Beginnings program and the establishment of the Historical Records Rescue Consortium.

Kay was a role model and mentor for many members of the Western Australian public library profession. Her passion for library education saw her serve on the Australian Library and Information Association (ALIA) Board of Education, with four years as Chair, and in 1997 she was conferred with a Fellowship of the Association. She was invited to be an inaugural member of the Bertelsmann International Network of Public Libraries in 1996 contributing to scholarly research in the profession. Their objectives were “to pool international know-how, to strengthen the exchange of experience among public library experts, to develop successful concepts and above all, to promote their practical implementation”.

A lifelong contributor to non-profit ventures, Kay also served in a variety of roles as a member of Zonta International and also for Meath Care. In 2008 Kay was awarded the Medal of the Order of Australia, and in 2010 she was recognised as a Library Board of Western Australia Fellow.

Through her work with the Library Board of Western Australia, her long and successful association with City of Stirling libraries, and her commitment to fostering potential in library professionals, Kay Poustie’s legacy will live on.

This page last updated on