"From what was once a building comprising mainly of books, is now a community hub where people learn, grow, do, experience, produce, and find interesting things."
Jessica Madureira, 2016 Kay Poustie Scholarship winner

Traditionally the Kay Poustie Scholarship has enabled a library professional in Western Australia to undertake study locally or internationally to explore library services and best practice that can be applied to public libraries in WA.

However, the ongoing national and international COVID situation with uncertainty around borders and in person conferences means that the 2022 Scholarship will be offered as a research project.

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

The 2022 Kay Poustie Scholarship is now closed for applications. 

Travel and attendance at professional development events as part of the research may be funded by the Scholarship, provided it identifies as part of the research proposal.

Priority research topics for 2022 are:

The 3 pillars of the Draft Public Library Strategy:

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

As well as:

  • Public Libraries and seniors
  • Public Libraries and the UN Sustainable Development Goals

Applicants must:

  • be a qualified library practitioner working within the public library network in Western Australia including the State Library of WA. If the application is from a team, then all members of the team must be qualified library practitioners working with the public library network in Western Australia including the State Library of WA;
  • have at least three years’ professional experience;
  • be able to demonstrate a commitment to the library profession; and
  • be an Australian Citizen over the age of 18.

Conditions of Scholarship

The applicant (or applicant team) 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 Western Australia, and the Library Board 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 WA public library network. This may be through presentations to a meeting/s and / or via an article for a professional journal, but as a minimum will include a presentation to at least one Public Libraries Western Australia 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 in May 2022 (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 Western Australia has the right to use such 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 and present the findings to SLWA and PLWA by 31 March 2023.

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 research project application. The funds may be applied to:

  • Travel to support the research
  • Attendance at professional development events related to the research topic
  • Other costs (detailed in the application) associated with the research
  • Detail any in kind support that the proposed project may seek or expect to receive

Application Assessment Criteria

  • The extent to which the proposal addresses the priority research topics for 2022
  • The extent to which the knowledge gained by the research will be of value and benefit to the Western Australia public library system;
  • 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.
  • That the applicant’s written proposal and expertise is sufficient for the proposed project;
  • That the applicant’s written proposal and presential of the proposal demonstrates clarity, analytical thought, and excellent communication skills;
  • That the applicant displays significant commitment to the profession.

No late applications will be accepted and the decision of the Selection Panel is final and no correspondence will be entered into. Both the State Library of WA and PLWA reserve the right not to award a Scholarship.

The Selection Panel

Mrs Margaret Allen, PSM, FALIA, CEO and State Librarian
Mr Gareth Dixon AALIA (CP), Committee Member Public Libraries WA (Inc), City of Armadale
Dr Kerry Smith FALIA, AM, Retired Associate Professor, Curtin University

The 2022 Kay Poustie Scholarship is now closed for applications.

Past Scholarship Recipients and their Scholarship Outcomes

2021 The Kay Poustie Scholarship for 2020 was not awarded due to the COVID-19 restrictions on travel.
2020 The Kay Poustie Scholarship for 2020 was not awarded due to the COVID-19 restrictions on travel.
2019 No award was presented
2018 Shane Dowling 2018 (PDF 746KB)
Chantay Mallett 2018 (PDF 2.4MB)
Teena Miller 2018 (PDF 615KB)                                                            
2017 No award was presented

Jessica Madureira 2016 (PDF 9.8MB)


Megan Sullivan 2015 (PDF 1.8MB)


Jane Jones 2014 (PDF 2.3MB)


Ruth Campbell-Hicks 2013 (PDF 2.3MB)


Kirstie Nicholson 2012 (PDF 766KB)


This page last updated on 5 May 2022