Alice and Isabel Watson Essay Prize

The Victorian Women’s Trust (VWT) and the Gender, Sexuality and Diversity Studies (GSDS) Program, La Trobe University have created a partnership to enable an Essay Prize, awarded annually to an undergraduate student, majoring in GSDS, for an outstanding essay.


The Brief

The Essay will be between 3000-4000 words. It will be a plain-speaking, sophisticated, analysis of a contemporary Australian issue, primarily using a gender lens. It will also incorporate a considered, high-quality understanding of social justice and implications for social change and/or policy development.


The Essay Prize will be open to all undergraduate students majoring in GSDS.


End September Short proposals (500 words) submitted to GSDS Program for feedback
End October Feedback provided
End November Full essay lodged
December Decisions made by a Panel of 3 (one La Trobe academic; one VWT Director and/or staff member; one VWT nominee)
January Essay Prize winner announced. Cheque for $1000 is made to winner

The Essay Prize is listed as part of the University’s Awards Ceremony.

Publicity and promotion

The VWT and the GSDS Program will publish the winning Essay on their respective websites. As well, VWT and GSDS staff will confer as to the most appropriate strategy for distributing the Essay to media and other channels with a view to encouraging community activism and social change and/or influencing policy debate. It may also be feasible to produce a collection of the prize-winning Essays as a separate publication.

Roles and Responsibilities

The respective roles and responsibilities of the partners are identified and described in an agreed and signed Memorandum of Understanding.