Karen Murphy (1956 -2012) was a born Advocate. She saw it as her personal responsibility to right every wrong she encountered – and that was the way she lived her life. Karen was a warm and engaging person who treated everyone she met as an equal. Even during her long and often debilitating illness Karen saw it as her responsibility to cheer up the other patients receiving treatment. She was certainly one of a kind.

Karen was one of the two RIAC Advocates in the Bendigo office covering most of the Loddon Mallee region for many years. While their office was miniscule and the working conditions not ideal, it was clear her commitment to clients’ rights was undiminished.

Scholarship Criteria

In accordance with its Vision Statement RIAC has implemented a scholarship fund for people with a disability to assist with the costs associated with their study, apprenticeship, or traineeship.

It is expected there will be up to 3 scholarships awarded, up to $3,000 each.

Applications are sought from people:

  • aged 15 years or Mature age students are also eligible.
  • secondary students, post-secondary students or undertaking an apprenticeship or
  • with a disability (intellectual, psychiatric, cognitive, neurological, sensory, or physical impairment or a combination of impairments)
  • who reside in the catchment areas RIAC

The successful applicant(s) will be required to:

  • Provide RIAC with confirmation of successful enrolment or their study commencement date from an Education Provider such as primary/secondary school, Registered Training Organisation (RTO) such as TAFE or an approved University.
  • Provide RIAC with confirmation of an apprenticeship/traineeship and enrolment evidence with an RTO such as TAFE


NOTE: All applicants must reside in the RIAC advocacy catchment, which consists of the following local government areas:

Rural City of Mildura (Vic); Rural City of Swan Hill (Vic); Buloke Shire (Vic); Gannawarra Shire (Vic); Campaspe Shire (Vic); Loddon Shire (Vic); City of Greater Bendigo (Vic); Central Goldfields Shire (Vic); Macedon Ranges Shire (Vic); Mitchell Shire (Vic); Murrindindi Shire (Vic); Strathbogie Shire (Vic); Mt Alexander Shire (Vic); City of Greater Shepparton (Vic); Moira Shire (Vic); City of Greater Geelong (Vic); Borough of Queenscliffe (Vic); Hindmarsh Shire (Vic); West Wimmera Shire; Yarriambiack Shire (Vic); Wentworth Shire (NSW); and Balranald Shire (NSW).

Application form

The application form is available at the bottom of this page.

It is 2 pages long and asks why you want to undertake your course, how a scholarship will assist in your studies, asks for 2 referees and provides space to provide any other information which you believe may assist your application in being successful.


The RIAC Board Karen Murphy Scholarship subcommittee will evaluate all applications and will short list the most suitable applicants. Those applications which are short listed will be followed up with an interview.

It is expected that successful applicants will agree to provide a short, written article outlining the benefits of receiving the Scholarship. Successful applicants must also agree to RIAC publishing their name and photograph.

 How to Apply

RIAC will advertise the scholarship program via social media and RIAC’s website and throughout its networks. Application forms will be available online or you can call and our intake officers can help you to fill it out over the phone.

Completed applications should be forwarded to:

Intake Officer, Scholarship application, PO BOX 1763, Shepparton, VIC 3630, OR

 Email to Intake Officer,

Applications close January 2nd 2023.

Questions? call our Intake line and leave a message on 03 5222 5499, and our Intake team will give you a call.


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