Loris Williams Memorial Scholarship - Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders

About Loris Williams

Loris Elaine Williams (1949 - 2005) was an Aboriginal woman of Mulinjali (Beaudesert, South East Queensland) descent through her father, and Birri Gubba (Ayr, North Queensland) descent through her mother. She became the first Aboriginal person from Queensland to gain professional archival qualifications and only the second Aboriginal person to do so.

Apart from a short secondment to the State Library of Queensland in 2002, she remained with the Community and Personal Histories Section, Department of Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander Policy (now Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Services, Department of Communities), Queensland 1998 – 2005 when she passed away aged 55.

Loris is remembered as a passionate advocate for the right of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people to use archives as a means of reconnecting with their family, country and Indigenous identity. Similarly, Loris spoke of the need to have qualified Indigenous staff in the archives and keeping records sector. In a paper at the Australian Society of Archivists (ASA) 1999 Conference, she commented “The ASA is to be commended for their commitment to encouraging Indigenous employment by aligning with the Australian Library and Information Association (ALIA) in the Indigenous Recruitment & Career Development Strategy”.

As testament to her own personal commitment and lasting legacy, it was Loris’s leadership as Convenor of the Indigenous Issues Special Interest Group (IISIG) of the ASA from September 2003 to 2005, that the group produced the brochure ‘Pathways to your future and our past: careers for Indigenous peoples in archives and records’ to encourage Indigenous people to train as archivists and records managers. This directly paved the way for this ASA scholarship being offered that now deservedly bears Loris’s name.

Application Process

Applications for 2017 are now open, closing date is 13 April 2017. To apply, please complete the application form at the end of this page, and send it to the ASA office.

Each scholarship will provide up to $3000 which can be used to pay fees, books and computing costs.

  • Students may be studying at university from bachelor's level up to PhD or in a Vocational Education and Training institutions from Certificate III onwards.
  • Scholarship holders will also be given associate membership of the Australian Society of Archivists and will have a mentor to guide them in developing their career.
  • The scholarship is available for one year of study only. Successful applicants should not expect to be offered further assistance for a period of 3 years.
  • Applicants are assessed by a selection committee of three people on the basis of written applications and a telephone interview.
Criteria for selection:
  • Successful applicants must be Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander people
  • Show that they have the potential to complete their chosen course of study.
  • Show that they are interested in and committed to a career in archives and records.
Past Recipients

Please click here for the list of recipients since 2008.