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About the GWP Ken Thiess Memorial Scholarship

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The aim of this scholarship is to build capacity in water leadership in Integrated Water Resource Management (IWRM) and in doing so, to improve the implementation of IWRM in the home nation of the scholar.


The scholarship includes tuition fees and living expenses for a candidate from a developing country to come to Australia and study the IWC Master of Integrated Water Management, commencing in 2015.


This scholarship is administered by the International WaterCentre and funded through the support of two generous donors: the Global Water Partnership (GWP) and the Thiess Family Trust who provided funds in memory of their son, Ken Thiess, who died performing engineering duties on the construction of the Snowy Mountains Scheme.

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IWC Master of Integrated Water Management

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The course is taught by international leaders in a broad spectrum of disciplines and delivered by the International WaterCentre. Graduates gain the research, strategic and managerial skills they need to advance their careers in the water sector and become future leaders in integrated water management.


The course runs over two years and comprises four compulsory course units (first semester) and a research thesis (three semesters).


Graduates will receive an internationally recognised degree endorsed by four leading Australian Universities.


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Download Master of Philosophy in Integrated Water Management PDF

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Scholarship Value

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The scholarship is valued at approximately AU$ 83,368* which includes:

  • Full-tuition fees for the IWC Master of Integrated Water Management program commencing in 2015 (valued at AU$ 48,240 over 18 months);
  • Cost of student visa for a single student (valued at AU$ 500)
  • One return flight between country of origin and Brisbane, Australia to a maximum cost of AU$ 3,000;
  • Overseas Student Health Cover for 18 months (valued at AU$ 778 for 18 months);
  • Living expenses stipend (valued at EUR 20,000 or AU$ ~$29,000* for 18 months), payable in equal monthly instalments in Australian dollars
  • Attendance at the 18th International Riversymposium conference in 2015 (valued at AU$ 1,850).
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Eligibility Requirements

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To be eligible to apply for the scholarship you need to:

  • Be a female, citizen of one of the GWP 84 partner countries ^ (note that affiliation to the GWP is not required, you only need to be a citizen of one of these countries)
  • Have at least five years of experience in the water sector managing Integrated Water Resource Management projects
  • Apply for admission in the IWC Master of Integrated Water Management (MIWM) program as an international student and meet the entry requirements:

              a) A completed undergraduate degree in a related field of study from an internationally-recognised institution

              b) English language proficiency, as demonstrated by an officially recognised test of English language proficiency (see The University of Queensland requirements)



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How to Apply

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For further information and to apply for the scholarship. Please visit the International WaterCentre website for other opportunities that may be available.






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Student Profiles

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Jackline Wanjiru

Country of Origin:Kenya
Academic Background:Hydrology, water resources
First Year of Scholarship:2015

Jackline attained first-class honours in her Bachelor of Science (Hydrology and Water Resources) and has worked as a hydrologist and a Water Resources Officer in both the private sector and for the Kenyan Government.


Jackline decided to study the Masters of Integrated Water Management to further develop her knowledge and enable her to improve the water sector in Kenya and in other parts of the world.


"Having worked in diverse areas of Kenya, I have experienced first-hand challenges inherent in water resources management. I have realised that a professional water manager would need to have knowledge of the multi-disciplinary nature of integrated water management (IWM) to be able to improve the water sector."


Jackline believes that the most important water management issues in Kenya are water scarcity and sanitation, with women and children regularly walking for quite long distances in search of drinking water.


"I believe that I will be a water leader who is able to make positive changes for the betterment of livelihoods of the rural poor, especially women and children."


Jackline Wanjiru 2015

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Denise Cheah

Country of Origin:Malaysia
Academic Background:Water security, conservation, water policy and enforcement
First Year of Scholarship:2015

Denise was awarded the KTMS in 2015. Denise graduated from the University of Kebangsaan in Malaysia with a Master of Science (Environmental Assessment and Monitoring), and now works as a Technical Officer with Wetlands International in Malaysia. 


Denise’s experience in working with an environmental NGO has given her insight in to the lack of awareness surrounding water security issues and the importance of overcoming this challenge.


"Working with Wetlands International on several projects concerning wetland conservation and wise-use, I realised that a great majority of people are unaware of the water security risk our nation is facing or the causes leading to it. This is disturbing as it allows rapid land conversion and unsustainable resource usage and other activities that result in deforestation, leaching and ground water contamination, greatly affecting water resource availability.”


Denise hopes that her scholarship will enable her to become a water leader in Malaysia, educating others and implementing strategies to ensure stakeholders work together to achieve sustainable management of the country’s water resources.


Denise Cheah 2015

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Bounthavivanh Mixap

Country of Origin:Laos
Academic Background:Gender, Rural development, trans-boundary river management
First Year of Scholarship:2014

Vanh Mixap was awarded the joint Ken Thiess Memorial - Global Water Partnership scholarship in 2014. Vanh has undertaken most of her studies in Brisbane Australia with the International Water Centre. She is currently completing her Master of Integrated Water Management.


For the first half of 2015, Vanh will also intern with the Global Water Partnership in Stockholm.


If you wish to contact Vanh you can email her on b.mixap@uq.net.au


Bounthavivanh Mixap 2014

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Faisal Elias

Country of Origin:Ghana
Academic Background:Geography, rural development, economics
First Year of Scholarship:2013

Faisal was awarded the Ken Thiess Memorial Scholarship in 2013 and is due to complete his Masters in Integrated Water Management through Monash University, South Africa, in 2015.


Faisal is passionate about contibuting to development and water issues in Ghana. His research interests are focussed on women's role and participation in integrated water mangaement in developing countries and his Master's study is entitled "Women participation in Integrated Water Resources Management: a case study of Mutale Water User Association, Limpopo'".


Faisal Elias 2013

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Indrawan Prabaharyaka

Country of Origin:Indonesia
Academic Background:Environmental Engineering
First Year of Scholarship:2012

In 2012, Indrawan was awarded the Ken Thiess Memorial Scholarship. This gave Indrawan the opportunity to study towards IWC’s Master of Philosophy in Integrated Water Management at Monash University, South Africa.


His Masters thesis was entitled "Institutional Pathologies And Urban Water Access: A Case Study Of Jakarta, Indonesia".


Since graduation, Indrawan has gone on to work with the UNESCO-IHE.


Indrawan Prabaharyaka 2012

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What are the greatest challenges that you believe need to be addressed in the water industry?

The greatest challenges in the water industry are coping and adapting with climate change while at the same time ensuring the sustainability of water processing. Most urban centers in the world rely on remote water sources, which are invisible in the eyes of urbanites. In fact, that manner of water sourcing threatens freshwater species and ecology. Although climate change might increase precipitation, population growth requires more food, which translates into more water for irrigation, and drinking water - but fresh-water availability is limited.

Kundai Chihambakwe

Country of Origin:Zimbabwe
First Year of Scholarship:2011

In 2011, Kundai was awarded the Ken Thiess Memorial Scholarship. Kundai has just completed her Master's thesis entitled "The 19th Watering Hole: The Relationship between Policy, Practice and Perceptions of Water Conservation Practices on Golf Courses in Gauteng, South Africa".


Kundai hopes to work in the NGO sector in the future in environmental stewardship and WASH.





Kundai Chihambakwe 2011

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Nonceba Noqayi

Country of Origin:South Africa
Academic Background:water quality, governance, environmental water
First Year of Scholarship:2012

Nonceba is currently studying part-time under the Master of Integrated Water Management in South Africa. She is passionate about working in water mangaement and delivering access to clean, safe water for commnities, especially for women and girls.


Nonceba Noqayi 2012

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Olita Ogonjo

Country of Origin:Kenya
Academic Background:Urban water, informal settlements, integrated water resource management, community development
First Year of Scholarship:2010

Olita was the first awardee of the Ken Thiess Memorial Scholarship and completed his Master of Integrated Water Management in 2011.


Olita now works with Brisbane, Australia as a Social Scientist and was one of the original founding team members of the IRF Tweed Kenya Mentoring Partnership (TKMP).


Olita Ogonjo 2010

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Download Application Form

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Before we send you a Ken Thiess Memorial Scholarship application form, could you please fill out some simple details for us?  All fields are compulsory (required). Thank you!


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