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NCWQ Narelle Townsend Urban Design Bursary

Bursary Sponsor Narelle Townsend

About This Bursary

Bursary Sponsor Narelle Townsend

Narelle Townsend is the first female architect to graduate from the College of Sydney (now called University of NSW). She has been a trailblazer throughout her working life.

After working in Spain, Saudi Arabia and establishing UN headquarters in Thailand and Kenya, she settled in New York. She designed and coordinated building of UN buildings in the USA. Narelle considers she was in the right place at the right time, to be successful in unique work in Housing and Sustainable Cities, within the United Nations. Narelle continued to work there for 40 years, again trailblazing where few women had previously gone. Her vision was for ‘housing the world’ encompassing the right to shelter and designing better communities. She was the Chair of the Global Housing Foundation and Chair for the UN Habitat NGOs and remains as Patron for Commonwealth Human Ecology Council.

Now 92, Narelle ‘retired’ from her pro bono work at the UN’s Global Housing Authority after being Matriarch of UN Habitat Agenda 1,2, and 3 (1976, 1996, 2016), she settled in Ballina at RSL LifeCare.

The value of the bursary is $1,000.

Important Dates


  • Monday 12 April 2021 – Applications open.
  • Wednesday 2 June 2021 – Applications close. Applications submitted or post-marked after that date will not be considered. APPLICATIONS CLOSED.
  • Monday 12 July 2021 – All applicants will be advised of the selection panel’s decision after 12 July 2021. Please note that no correspondence will be entered into for feedback to unsuccessful applicants.
  • Tuesday 3 August 2021 (confirmed) The Presentation of the bursaries in Brisbane – see here for updates

Important Information

  • There are two key steps to apply for this bursary: Step 1 – Check Eligibility and Step 2 – Submit An Application.
  • To be eligible to apply for this bursary, you must meet each of the specified Eligibility Criteria and be able to address the Selection criteria (as listed in Step 1 below).
  • The Selection Criteria is used to assess your application.
  • In Step 2 of the process, you will be provided with helpful hints to complete your application. Preparation is key.
  • You are invited to Start Step 1 – Check Eligibility
  • Please note: We understand that it may not be possible to submit your application using our online Bursary Application process. In special circumstances, we do offer a hard copy / printed version of the application for you to submit. Please contact our Bursaries Program Manager, Kathy Cavanagh Ph: 0407 117 378 or Email: to discuss your options.


  • The details which you provide in the application are held in strict confidence and are accessed only by the Bursary Selection Panel members of the National Council of Women of Queensland Inc (“NCWQ”) Bursary Program. Information contained in the application is to only be used for the purpose of administration of the NCWQ Bursary Program. The information will not be disclosed to any third party without prior written permission from the Applicant.

STEP 1 - Check Your Eligibility

To proceed to the Application Form for this bursary, you must meet each of the following Eligibility and Selection Criteria. Please confirm the following:

PLEASE NOTE: Applications for the 2021 Bursary Program Have Now Closed

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Thank you to our kind Sponsors of the 2021 NCWQ Bursary Program

Have questions about the 2021 Bursary Program?

We welcome enquiries from potential bursary partners and bursary applicants. Please contact the NCWQ Bursary Program Manager, Kathy Cavanagh.