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Jan Cathcart Scholarship – a fitting legacy for women in the Australian rice industry

Applications have now closed for 2020 Scholarship.

The Scholarship program was launched in 2014 to honour the memory of long-term SunRice employee Jan Cathcart and recognise her high principles, commitment and 43-year contribution to the rice industry, SunRice, and our shareholders and growers. It is designed to support women who demonstrate a passion for and commitment to the rice industry and who can contribute to shaping a positive future for our industry.

The Scholarship is open to female shareholders, growers and employees and their extended families. We encourage women from across our networks to apply, or to nominate other eligible women who would benefit from the program.

One applicant will be selected to receive a $10,000 scholarship for each year of her tertiary study, for up to three years, to start in the first Semester of 2020. The successful applicant will be chosen on: her commitment to a career in agriculture or agribusiness; her involvement in work experience and community service; leadership potential; and academic achievements.

To be eligible for the Jan Cathcart Scholarship, an applicant's tertiary study will ideally be aligned to professional positions for which there is growing demand across regional Australia. These would include, but not be limited to, agricultural science, engineering and finance / business. Priority will be given to applicants from regional Australia, preferably those from rice growing areas, however we welcome all suitable applications. The scholarship is open to both eligible students currently studying at university or new students attending their first year of university in 2020.

Here’s what some past Jan Cathcart Scholars have to say:

“I applied for the Jan Cathcart Scholarship because of how much the rice industry has given my family and how much I want to contribute and give back. Jan left the most incredible legacy and I think if I can be half the woman she was, then that would be enough. I highly encourage young women to apply for the scholarship to further develop and support the rice industry.”
Annabel Arnold, 2018 recipient – to read a Q&A with Annabel, click here.

“This scholarship is important so that women can picture themselves in the rice industry and more broadly in agriculture. It is important that we keep our talented women from the bush, in the bush. The scholarship made me seriously consider what my career in agriculture looked like and SunRice has paved the way.”
Sarah Cudmore, 2017 recipient - to read a Q&A with Sarah, click here.

“The work opportunities that have arisen due to the scholarship have enabled me to explore numerous areas within the business and ultimately expose me to roles that I may never have considered without such guidance. In these difficult drought conditions and with the water situation, the scholarship helps to shine a light not only on the premium rice that is grown in the Riverina but also the talent that can be found there.”
Millie Mertz, 2016 recipient - to read a Q&A with Millie, click here.

Please watch this short video to learn more about the Jan Cathcart Scholarship, how 2015 recipient Samantha Glenn, from a rice farm in Moulamein, has benefitted from it, and why she and SunRice Chairman Laurie Arthur encourage women in the rice industry who are undertaking, or planning to undertake, tertiary studies to apply.

For further details and to apply for the 2020 Scholarship, please download the application form on this site and send your completed form to Maria Ryan by email to or post to 57 Yanco Avenue, Leeton, NSW 2705. ​