Department of Human Services

2018 Catherine Helen Spence $25,000 Scholarship Recipient Announced


Dr Prudence Flowers from Flinders University has been awarded the 2018 Catherine Helen Spence Scholarship of $25,000 towards research into social conditions in South Australia.

Dr Flowers, the 20th woman to receive the scholarship since it began in 1911, will conduct research into the legal and policy implications, for women and clinicians, of late termination of pregnancy.

The Catherine Helen Spence Scholarship Committee selected Dr Flowers’ research project because it offered an opportunity to make a valuable contribution to our understanding of this important social issue.

The scholarship is offered in honour of Catherine Helen Spence, who dedicated her life to working for social and political reform and particularly to raising awareness of important social issues for women.

Past recipients have explored social issues affecting women in our community that are often overlooked or misunderstood by society. Their research has contributed to improving awareness and education, as well as informing social reform on issues including facilities for women and babies in prison, making public libraries accessible for children with special needs and drink spiking.

Dr Flowers’ research project will explore the context in which late termination of pregnancies occur in South Australia, the formal and informal barriers that surround the procedure and use international comparisons to provide a model of “best practice” in this field.

Dr Flowers is a committed academic, teacher, historian and researcher with a strong interest in the area of reproductive rights.

Dr Flowers’ research project will begin in February 2019 and be completed by August 2020.

Named in honour of a pioneering political and social reformer, the scholarship provides financial support to investigate social problems and/or study in the field of social science in Australia and overseas.

The Catherine Helen Spence Scholarship Committee awards a scholarship every four years, with the support of the Office for Women, in the Department of Human Services.

More information about the scholarship, including past recipients, is available at

Page last updated : 13 Dec 2018

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