Celebrating the RSL scholars of 2024

13 June 2024

RSL Queensland proudly celebrates the latest recipients and alumni of the RSL Scholarships program.

Since 2016, the RSL Scholarships program has empowered ex-Defence members, their dependants, and current/ex-Defence members’ partners to pursue higher education. 

The program aims to help those who’ve experienced service-related hardship enhance their employability, financial security, and sense of purpose. 

In 2024, 54 program applicants received scholarships, and they – along with the program’s 2023 alumni – were honoured at a ceremony in Brisbane on 30 May 2024. 

Pathways to success  

Ceremony attendees included representatives from RSL Queensland; the Australian Veterans’ Children Assistance Trust (AVCAT), which manages veteran dependant scholarships on behalf of RSL Queensland; as well as industry partners and tertiary institutions including Australian Catholic University and Griffith University.  

2024 RSL Scholarships Ceremony Casey Aherne

RSL Scholarship recipient Casey Aherne

RSL Queensland State Deputy President Wendy Taylor commended the scholars for their courage and resilience in the face of service-related challenges, and their commitment to personal and professional growth through higher education. 

“We are immensely proud to assist these scholars in obtaining higher educational qualifications that will enable them to find meaningful and fulfilling employment,” Wendy said. 

“Transitioning from military service to civilian life is a challenging journey, made even more complex by the unique experiences and sacrifices veterans, their partners and veteran dependants may endure. Higher education can often be a pathway to the veteran community experiencing a healthy transition and thriving in civilian careers.  

2024 Scholarships Ceremony Wendy Taylor James Davies Len Russell

RSL Queensland State Deputy President Wendy Taylor with scholarship recipient James Davies and AVCAT CEO Len Russell

“I would like to thank AVCAT for their ongoing collaboration and support. Your dedication to assisting veterans and their families is deeply appreciated and instrumental in our shared mission.” 

"I would also like to acknowledge the academic institutions and employers recognising the value of our veteran community and creating connections and pathways from qualifications into industry to aid in the ultimate goal of civilian careers for our scholars."  

Excited for what lies ahead

Emma James, who received a veteran dependent scholarship in 2021, graduated from Griffith University in 2023 with a Bachelor of Criminology and Criminal Justice, and is looking forward to a meaningful career in community welfare. The daughter of an Army veteran, she was one of two alumni to deliver a scholar’s address at the ceremony.  

2024 RSL Scholarships Ceremony Emma James

Emma James, who received a veteran dependant scholarship, speaking at the ceremony

I'm both proud and excited for what lies ahead of me,” Emma said. 

“The AVCAT scholarship has been instrumental in broadening my horizons, allowing me to independently navigate university life." 

A real privilege

Sarah Camille, whose husband is currently in the Australian Defence Force, received one of this year’s partner scholarships – “a real privilege” that will enable her to pursue her passion and juggle the demands of Defence and family life. 

“I’m studying equine assisted therapy with a focus on mental health, learning about helping people heal through somatic experience with horses,” she says.  

2024 Scholarships Ceremony Sarah Camille

Wendy Taylor with veteran partner scholarship recipient Sarah Camille

“For me, this scholarship really means balance. I can set up a private practice, I can do my part for society, but also be there supporting my husband and my kids. 

“To receive support as a veteran spouse is significant when behind the scenes – and not to discount the huge contribution that veterans make in our community – there's a lot of spouses and children trying to keep life happening while they get called to duty or training. Receiving a scholarship is very humbling, and it also means I can go on to do good for other veteran families. 

“The support that RSL Queensland consistently gives to veterans and veteran families is really immeasurable. So, a big thank you to everyone involved.”



For more information on RSL Queensland services, please visit https://www.rslqld.org/find-help.


Please note: RSL Queensland regularly reviews and refines its services to ensure we’re effectively supporting veterans and their families. As a result, the RSL Scholarships program will not be taking on new ex-Defence and partner applicants at this time. 

Scholarships for veteran dependants are available through our partnership with the Australian Veterans’ Children Assistance Trust (AVCAT). Applications open 18 August 2024. For more information, click here: https://avcat.org.au/scholarships/ 

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