Image Credit: Courtesy Lisa Blair

Nancy-Bird Walton Sponsorship

  • January 19, 2011

The Nancy-Bird Walton Sponsorship provides funding for Australian female adventurers.

Applications for the sponsorship open on October 16th each year, to mark Nancy's birthday. The winner of the sponsorship is announced on International Women's Day, March 8th.

The annual funding of $5000 is awarded to an Australian woman planning to undertake an adventurous pursuit. The recipient of the sponsorship is chosen by a panel made up of female adventurers, members of Nancy-Bird Walton's Family and representatives of the Australian Geographic Society.

It is hoped that the sponsorship will not only commemorate the great life of Nancy-Bird Walton, but also inspire women from around Australia to follow their dreams.

The project chosen should be:

  1. Initiated by and led by a woman
  2. Ground breaking - either through a new adventure or new scientific project, or because it is an endeavour that's beyond the applicant's known skills or past experience 
  3. Inspirational to a new generation of Australian female adventurers 
  4. Mindful of Nancy-Bird Walton's legacy
  5. Able to be communicated to a wide audience

Download Nancy Bird Walton Application Form

Please forward your application in a single attachment to society@ausgeo.com.au (We do not need a hard copy of your application.)

2017 Nancy-Bird Walton Sponsorship winner
The 2017 awardee of the Nancy-Bird Walton Sponsorship was 32-year-old Lisa Blair, who set out to be the first woman to circumnavigate Antarctica, solo, non-stop and unassisted. Unfortunately, Lisa was forced to seek assistance in Cape Town, South Africa, when rough seas broke her mast 72 days into the expedition. But this didn't stop Lisa from returning to sea to complete the circumnavigation. Read about Lisa's expedition

2015 Nancy-Bird Walton Sponsorship winner
Sandy Robson received the 2015 Nancy-Bird Walton Sponsorship to support her epic sea-kayaking adventure, retracing the journey of Oskar Speck. Between 1932 and 1939 Speck paddled a folding kayak from Germany to Australia. In November 2016 Sandy successfuly completed her 23,000km paddle, five and a half years after departing Germany. Read about Sandy's expedition


2012 Nancy-Bird Walton Sponsorship winner
In 2012 the Nancy-Bird Walton Sponsorship was awarded to a group of four women (Linda Beilharz, Margaret Bowling, Carhy O'Dowd and Tara Remington) to aid them in their sea to summit mission traversing Chile and its coastline, culminating in the climbing of South America's highest peak, Mount Aconcagua. Read about their expedition

2011 Nancy-Bird Walton Sponsorship winner
In 2011 the Nancy-Bird Walton Sponsorship was awarded to 35 year old Allie Pepper for her expedition to Mt Everest. In May 2011, Allie will attempt to summit the world's highest peak without the use of supplementary oxygen. Only 5 other women have ever succeeded in this feat, and when she reaches the peak Allie will be the first Aussie female to do so. Read about Allie's expedition

2010 Nancy-Bird Walton Sponsorship winner
In 2010 the Nancy-Bird Walton Sponsorship was awarded to Queenslander Daniele Murdoch for her Motomonkey expedition. Danielle's journey will take her from Australia across Indonesia and India, through the Middle East and around Africa. Throughout her two-year journey she will cover over 70,000 kilometres, getting a glimpse into other women's lives as well as becoming a role model of strength and independence for women all over the world. Read about Danielle's expedition.