John Monash Scholar, Dr Cathy Vaughan

Cathy Vaughan knew that she wanted a diverse career in community health. Following her studies at La Trobe, it was a generous scholarship that helped turn her research goals into a reality.

Dr Cathy Vaughan knew that she wanted a diverse career in community health. It was studying a Bachelor of Physiotherapy at La Trobe that helped pave the way for her to complete the in-depth specific research that would frame her future. A generous scholarship helped turn her research goals into a reality.

“The John Monash Scholarship gave me the chance to do the research I wanted to do, at the best institution in my field. In my case it enabled me to learn from researchers with internationally recognised expertise in community health and development programs in southern Africa and South America, and to use this knowledge in my own work in our region. The Scholarship gave me the confidence that what I was doing was worthwhile and encouraged me to aim high,” says Cathy.

Prior to undertaking a PhD, Cathy worked on youth-focused HIV prevention programs in Papua New Guinea and a number of south-east Asian countries. She drew on this experience as a John Monash Scholar, completing her PhD at the Institute of Social Psychology, London School of Economics and Political Science. During her PhD and since, Cathy has focused on strengthening relationships between researchers and practitioners implementing health and development programs, to improve real world outcomes.

Cathy has subsequently taken up a position as Lecturer at the Centre for Health Equity, within the School of Population Health at the University of Melbourne. She coordinates the WHO Collaborating Centre for Women’s Health, teaches in the Master of Public Health, and leads research programs to improve the health of women with disability in the Philippines and to address violence against immigrant and refugee women in Australia.

Global health and development practitioner. Writer. Researcher. Speaker. Advocate. Investigator: Dr Cathy Vaughan has worked in over twenty low- and middle-income countries in Asia, the Pacific and sub Saharan Africa, in addition to her time in the U.K. and her current position in her home of Australia. She works at the interface of development practice and theory, building new programs of research focusing on gender and women’s health in settings of poverty and marginalization.

Dr Cathy Vaughan talks about her work and experiences as a John Monash scholar

About the John Monash Scholarships

The John Monash Scholarship, awarded by the General Sir John Monash Foundation, provides outstanding Australians with the opportunity to pursue their field of endeavor by studying at their choice of overseas institution, with the assistance of a generous financial endowment of up to $195,000 over three years.

In 2005 Dr Cathy Vaughan was selected as a John Monash Scholar.

Applications are now open

You may apply for a John Monash Scholarship by going online to and completing the official application process. It is a good idea to begin your application early so you can dedicate the required time. The John Monash Scholarships are not limited by gender, age, field of study or choice of overseas university.

The closing date for applications is 1 August 2016. Those chosen to proceed following the first review, will be interviewed by a State Selection Panel and National Selection Panel. If recommended you may be approved by the Board and offered a scholarship. Scholarships are awarded at the end of the year for studies commencing in 2017.

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