Len Tierney Social Work Travelling Award

6th Aug 2023
Study level
Graduate Coursework
Enrolment status
Current student
Study Area
Social Work
Fund source
Perpetual Trust (External)


Dr Leonard James Tierney OAM (1925 – 1996) was a leader in the development of social work education and professional practice at the University of Melbourne from 1961 until his retirement in 1990. In 1976 he was awarded Honorary Life Memberships of both the Australian Association of Social Workers (AASW) and Australian Social Welfare Union (ASQU) in recognition of his outstanding services to the social work profession.

In 1954 he was conferred with an MSc (Social Work) and subsequently in 1976 a DSW (Doctor of Social Welfare) at Columbia University School of Social Work. Dr Tierney’s sons, Nathan and Richard, also completed PhDs (in Philosophy) at Columbia. Dr Tierney’s initial overseas studies were partly funded through a postgraduate bursary provided by Columbia University. Through his estate he wished to provide similar opportunities to outstanding candidates to further their understanding of emerging international trends and perspectives in social work practice and education. Dr Tierney died in 1996. Following the death of his widow, Mrs Joan Tierney in 2018, the balance of the gift in his Will became available for purposes of funding this award. The Len Tierney Social Work Travelling Award was established in memory of Dr Tierney’s son Mark Julian Tierney, who died in infancy in 1964.

The scholarship is to support the cost of attendance at Columbia University School of Social Work for the study of direct practice, or, at the option of the University of Melbourne, such other University school department or program of social work of comparable standing.


One or more awards may be made per year. The value may vary according to the trust net annual income and the awardees proposed program for the travelling award.

Disclaimer: The benefit amount for this award is approximate. It will be confirmed at the time of awarding and determined by the committee according to the terms of the award.


To be considered for this scholarship you must be currently enrolled and completing the final semester in the Master of Social Work.


The award will be offered to students based on:

  1. Academic merit based on the weighted average mark in the Master of Social Work at the time of submitting the scholarship application
  2. Evidence of excellence in their field education placements based on reports from their University and Field educators
  3. A clearly stated program of study that demonstrates relevance to the advancement of direct social work practice.


Applications can be submitted online via the application form below. Candidates must respond to each question in the form.

Please note that late applications will not be considered.


Recipients of the scholarship will be advised in writing.


For further information, please contact Dr David Rose at drose@unimelb.edu.au

Scholarship Management


Faculty of Medicine, Dentistry and Health Sciences


Health Sciences

Department / Centre

Social Work