Log in

North Shore District Group


Val Williams Scholarship in Botany

The Val Williams Scholarship in Botany is sponsored by the North Shore Group of the Australian Plants Society. The Scholarship honours the memory of our former esteemed member, Val Williams (1937-2004). There is a wonderful account of Val's life and achievements on the Australian Flora Foundation website here.

Applications are sought firstly from Honours students and also from Masters or PhD students undertaking research at universities in the Sydney region.

The project must contribute to the knowledge of the ecology, conservation or propagation of native plants in the Sydney and surrounding regions.

See below for details of the 2023 winner and a link to earlier years.

Round Sixteen - 2024

Applications for the 2024 Scholarship are now open.

Val Williams Scholarship in Botany $3,500

This scholarship is awarded by the North Shore Group of the Australian Plants Society to Honours, Masters and PhD students of Botany.

Applications for the 2024 scholarship close on 8th March 2024. Scholarship conditions are described in the 2024 scholarship application forms. Application forms for the 2024 scholarship are available as pdf or word files.

VW Scholarship Application Information 2024.docx

VW Scholarship Application Information 2024.pdf

VW Scholarship Application Form 2024.docx

VW Scholarship Application Form 2024.pdf

Please note: No part of this scholarship can be used to cover administration costs.  

Application Time line for Round Sixteen:

  • 8 March 2024 – Applications close
  • 31 March 2024 – Assessment of applications completed
  • 4 April 2024 – Successful applicant is notified
  • 17 April 2024 – Remaining applicants notified

More information: email:, Phone: 0415 043 671 

Val Williams Scholarship in Botany - Recipient 2023 Sashini Perera

In 2023, the Val Williams Scholarship was awarded to a PhD student from Macquarie University called Sashini Perera.

Sashini's proposed research builds on an existing field experiment at the Australian Botanic Garden Mount Annan wherein 10 species were chosen that have widespread native distributions across the New South Wales region. For each species, two very different provenances were selected. The contrasting climates are local Western Sydney climate and a hotter, drier climate. 

The research proposes to investigate the influence of climate provenance on survival and plant performance with a view to predicting the success of species if Western Sydney becomes hotter and drier.

The second aspect of the project investigates the effect of addition of bio-char (charcoal) to the soil with and without microbial inoculation, under drought conditions.

The funds from the scholarship will enable the addition of a complementary glasshouse experiment, enable foliar nutrient analyses for both the field and glasshouse experiments and soil nutrient analysis of the field experiment. These will enable better assessment of the efficacy of the soil amendments for plant performance.

Previous Recipients of the Val Williams Scholarship in Botany

2022 Sarah McInnes

2021 Harriet Simpson-Southward

2020 Shubham Chhajed

2019 Farhad Masoomi-Aladizgeh

2018 Susan Everingham and John Whale

2017 Aaron Phillips

2016 Johanna Wong

2015 Jon Pankhurst

2014 Desi Quintans

2013 Jessica Mowle

2012 Diane Warman and Berin Mackenzie

2011 Nathan Emery and Tanya Bangel

2010 Alison Hewitt

2009 Liza Xian

Details of these winners and their projects can be found here.

Copyright © 2023 The Australian Plants Society - NSW. All Rights Reserved  •  Site by

Powered by Wild Apricot Membership Software