Winifred Kiek Memorial Scholarship

Reverend Winifrek Kiek, MA, BD

In 1927, Winifred Kiek was the first woman to be ordained in Australia in the Congregational Church (now the Uniting Church). Rev. Kiek was a pioneer in looking into the life and work of Australian women in the church.

Her earliest association with the Australian Council of Churches was in 1946 when she was asked to undertake a questionnaire in Australia (also being conducted in 50 other countries) on ‘Women in the Church’, in preparation for the World Council of Churches Assembly in Amsterdam, Holland, in 1948.

Rev. Kiek was later appointed by the Australian Council of Churches as Liaison Officer for work among women, and in 1950 was appointed a member of the World Commission (set up in Amsterdam) on Life and Work of Women in the Churches. This involved a great deal of correspondence and distribution of material to all states and denominations, including all Women’s Inter-Church Councils except Tasmania.

In 1952, Rev. Kiek represented Australia at a consultation arranged by the World Council of Churches’ Commission on Life and Work of Women in the Churches, held in Oxford, England. Winifred also worked for peace in local, state, national and international organisations, attending many conferences around the world.

Because of her concern for women in third world countries, she was influential in the founding of the Winifred Kiek Scholarship, which has been awarded every year since 1965. Rev. Winifred Kiek was later made a Life Member of Australian Church Women.

Here is a blog post that contains a report from Rev. Winifred Kiek when she attended the 3rd Assembly of the Asian Church Women’s Conference in Tokyo, Japan, in 1966

4A new relationship has been established between Churches Together SA and the Winifred Kiek Memorial Scholarship. South Australia was the home state of Winifred Kiek, and the Trustees of the Scholarship reside in South Australia.

The scholarship is awarded annually and provides opportunity for the successful applicant to:

  • further her theological training or
  • attend a conference or study program that supports her work in her church or community or
  • use the funds to develop and support a designated educational or charitable project for women.

Scholarship Application

The Winifred Kiek Memorial Scholarship for 2023 will be awarded to a Christian woman who is a resident of a member country of the Asian Church Women’s Conference (ACWC)

Please click HERE to download an application for the 2024 Winifred Kiek Memorial Scholarship
Applications close on 31 May 2023

Any queries regarding the Winifred Kiek Memorial Scholarship should be directed to the Chair of Trustees:
Velvy Holden:

The Winifred Kiek Memorial Scholarship (WKS)

The scholarship was inaugurated to honour the Rev. Winifred Kiek as a pioneer in fields of particular interest to church women. This scholarship is available to Christian women living in multicultural Australia, Pacific Island nations, and member countries of the Asian Church Women’s Conference; women who already have basic training in a chosen field of work.

When it was deemed more appropriate, the scholarship funds were used for designated educational or charitable projects for women through the National Council of Churches of Australia.

Fellowship Day Funds

The offerings received at the Australian Church Women Fellowship Day Services, held throughout Australia in July each year, were invested and the interest used to finance the scholarship. Additional donations were encouraged and could be made at any time to the Winifred Kiek Scholarship fund through the ACW Units or the National Executive.​

The WKS Trustees
The trustees of the Scholarship, located in Adelaide, were responsible for investing the funds and acting as an advisory body to the National Executive of Australian Church Women.​

Honouring Australian Women (Previously known as the Memorial Bursary Book)
Nominations were invited for Christian women whose association with the work of Australian Church Women was noteworthy. Along with the submission a donation was given, and the interest earned from the invested monies was used to provide a book grant to the scholarship holders. A profile and photograph of each woman was then recorded in the Honouring Australian Church Women book held by the National Winifred Kiek Scholarship Convener.

Winifred Keik Fellowship
In the past, at the discretion of the trustees and in consultation with the National Executive of Australian Church Women, funds were made available (on a predetermined basis) to invite a representative from the following bodies to attend the National Conference of Australian Church Women and visit various ACW Units under such a Fellowship:

  • Asian Church Women’s Conference
  • The Pacific Council of Churches
  • Past Winifred Kiek Scholars
  • The International Committee for the Fellowship of the Least Coin
  • Church Women United Aotearoa/New Zealand
  • or a noted Christian woman leader.​

Winifred Keik Scholars
Name – Year – Country – Ministry

  • Connie Tan 1965 Indonesia Childcare
  • Sabita Swarup1966 Fiji Secretarial
  • Anna Elasmi 1967 Papua New Guinea YWCA Worker
  • Jackie Kini (Mrs Vele)1968/9 Papua New Guinea Girls’ Brigade and Teaching
  • Veronica Kafa(Mrs Loe) 1970 Solomon Islands Teaching
  • Violet Sampa (Mrs Bredt) 1971 Zambia Theology
  • Terani Aisake(Mrs Lima) 1972 Fiji Deaconess
  • Kalpana Airan 1973 India Teaching
  • Myung-Rae Song 1974 Korea (could not participate, unable to obtain a visa)
  • Mrs Mary Weme 1975 Kenya Welfare
  • Sarrah Ah You 1976 Samoa Community Development
  • Jennifer Yeo Suan Phoon 1977 Taiwan Evangelism
  • Tapati Das1978 Bangladesh Handicrafts
  • Sr Barkat Kishan Dass(Deceased) 1978 Pakistan Nursing, Theology
  • Eita Boeva 1979 Papua New Guinea Nursing, Theology
  • Mary Y K Au 1980 Hong Kong Religious Education
  • Dien Sumiyatiningsih (Nuhamara) 1980 Indonesia Pastoral Education
  • Malini Weerasinghe 1981 Sri Lanka Religious Education
  • Salaseini Kanavakaca 1982 Fiji Religious Education
  • Lieutenant Miriam Gehare (PTG) 1982 Papua New Guinea Typing
  • Byong Ok Min 1983 Korea Christian Education
  • Dr Sushila Rao 1984 India Bridge Programme
  • Valeri Palang 1985 Papua New Guinea Leadership
  • Rashmira Maharjan 1988 Nepal Leadership
  • Failoutus Tibati 1989 Kiribati Secretarial
  • Doreen Tie Chin Bing (Tan) 1990 Sarawak Teaching Disabled
  • A Rachel Sobana (Kanly) 1991 South India Nursing
  • Ana Taumoepeau 1992 Tonga Computer Studies
  • Malai Mahamaneerat 1993 Thailand Grief Counselling
  • Nighat Gulzar 1994 Pakistan Office Management
  • Mrs Captain Lily Politini 1995 Fiji Alcohol Education
  • Rachel Rolland 1995 Vanuatu Leadership
  • CCWA 1996 Cambodia Tailoring, weaving, literacy, English
  • Rachael McManus 1997 Australia Theological Education
  • Lieutenant Joanne Harries 1997 Australia Theological Education
  • Milise Taipaleti 1998 Tonga Theology
  • Mai Zin Zin Wah 1995 Myanmar Theology
  • Sue Nitrai 2000 Australia Theology
  • Celestial Lusi 2001 Solomon Islands Theology
  • Lai Mui Ching (April) 2002 Hong Kong MA On Women in Relation to Religion
  • Monique Crabtree 2003 Australia Religious Education
  • Gaye Inall 2003 Australia Deaf Education
  • Susan Liersch 2003 Australia Christian Counselling
  • Mereani Dinacika Raqeu 2004 Fiji Ministry to Women in Sex Industry
  • Siok Cheng Chew 2005 Malaysia Advanced Certificate Autism
  • Anju Borgoary 2005 India Pastoral Counselling
  • Vivian Cheung 2006 Australia MA Theology
  • Tania Eichler 2006 Australia Dip. Theology
  • Pastor Leinamau Manrogoana 2007 Vanuatu Evangelism
  • Cathy Paraka 2007 Papua New Guinea Theological Education
  • Imelda Aquino 2008 Philippines M.Divinity (Missions)
  • Christine Ferguson 2009 Australia Pastoral Theology
  • Inise Foiakau 2009 Australia Pastoral Theology
  • Ruth Marsipal 2010 Papua New Guinea Empowering Women
  • Tonu Fakraufon 2010 Fiji Empowering Women
  • Arpona Mejahary 2011 India Final Year Bachelor of Divinity
  • Sisarat Kheng 2011 Cambodia Evangelism
  • Denise Champion 2012 Australia  Theological Studies
  • Kyounghee Cho 2012 Australia  Overseas Conferences
  • Berebere Katauea 2013 Kiribati Bachelor of Divinity
  • Lou Momoru 2013 Papua New Guinea Theology
  • Christina Taviti 2013 Vanuatu Diploma in Theology
  • Verenaisi Toga 2013 Fiji Bachelor of Divinity
  • Seng Ja 2014 Myanmar Master of Divinity
  • Wasana Fernando 2014 Sri Lanka Master in Transformative Theologies of  Gender
  • Hendriyane Anthony 2015 Australia Christian Counselling
  • Caryn Rogers 2015 Australia PhD Linguistics
  • Esline Toamavute 2016 Vanuatu International Women’s Conference
  • Hina Burq 2017 Pakistan Attend International Conference
  • All India Council of Christian Women 2017 Project for Gender Justice in India
  • Lauren England 2018 Australia Master of Theology
  • Elise Ruthenbeck 2018 Australia Archival Work for PhD
  • Geraldine Williame 2019 Fiji PhD studies
  • Hetty Widowaty 2020 Bali Master of Theology
  • Sandra Pawar 2021 Australia Attend Conference
  • Kate Johnstone 2021 Australia Christian Leadership Training
  • Miriam Moses 2022 PNG Master of Theology


Winifred Keik Fellowship Recipients
Name – Year

  • Mrs Rathi Selvaratnam 1981

  • Mrs Eunice Kim 1984

  • Mrs Rachel Matthew 1991

  • Mrs Annathaie Abaysekara 1991

  • Rev. Mary Y K Au 1993

  • Rev. Violet Sampa-Bredt 1993

  • Mrs Janice Shearer 1995

  • Deaconess Barkat K Dass (deceased) 1996

  • Rev. Iluminada Domingo 1997

  • Dr Esther Byu 1999

  • Ms Christina Wong Wai-Yin 2003

  • Rev Valamotu Palu 2005

  • Ms Shu-Wen Chiang 2007

  • Ms Corazon Tabing–Reyes 2009

  • Rev Lee, Moon Sook 2011 

  • Esther Kilaghbian 2013 

  • Devika Ukwatte 2015 

  • Susan Jackson-Dowd 2017

  • Dr Liza Lamis 2019