See More

Lyra Taylor Fund

About Lyra Taylor

In 1944, Lyra Taylor became the first social worker in the Federal Department of Human Services and helped change how governments delivered their social services programs. Lyra had forged a successful legal career in New Zealand, studied in America and worked in Canada before taking up her post as the department’s first social worker. She obtained a Master’s degree in social economics and social work. She was then appointed Administrative Officer of the Social Work and Research Branch in the Department of Social Services in 1944. Professor of Social Work at Melbourne University, Dr Leonard Tierney, paid tribute to Lyra for her dedication to social work, despite the challenges and controversy of her role at the time. Lyra chivvied and persuaded social workers to enlarge their vision of themselves, the world and their professional contribution. To the young she was kind and she had a way of enlisting you to causes which was difficult to resist. We need to remember how difficult it was for women then to achieve positions commensurate with their ability, or even to find their way into a university. After her retirement, Lyra continued to be active in various social councils representing and advocating for older Australians. After her death in 1979, AASW Victoria, to whom Lyra bequeathed her estate, established the Lyra Taylor Fund. As stated in Lyra's obituary, "the social work profession in Australia owes an enormous amount to the work of Lyra Taylor". Pictured above, Miss Lyra Taylor aged 29 in 1925.

What is the purpose of the Lyra Taylor Fund?

As mentioned above, Lyra Taylor bequeathed her estate to the AASW Victorian Branch. A fund was established, to distribute varying amounts of funding to the education and professional development of social workers. This funding is delivered by way of grants, depending on the capacity of the Fund and the quality of the Applications received. Lyra was dedicated to advancing the professionalism and standing of social work through development and training.

Future Lyra Taylor Fund Grant Applications to be announced.

Lyra Taylor Fund Grant Applications 2018


The Lyra Taylor Fund was established by the Victorian Branch of the Australian Association of Social Workers and is administered for the following purposes:

1. To advance education in relation to Social Work by:

  • Promoting, improving and maintaining standards of professional practice, education and research;
  • Establishing and maintaining continuing professional education opportunities for members;
  • Educating and informing the public and community institutions as to the aims and objectives of professional Social Work; and

2. To encourage and financially support special projects that will benefit the community.

The Lyra Taylor Fund Committee is appointed by the Victorian Branch Management Committee and is authorised to administer the Fund and make all decisions in relation to applications for grants.

Grants from the fund may be made to Members of the AASW (Victorian Branch) for projects consistent with the Fund purposes.

In 2018 the Lyra Taylor Fund Committee will make $7,500 available for distribution and is now calling for proposals.

2018 Grant Timeline


Applications Open 1 January 2018
Applications Close 16 March 2018 - Extended to 20 April
Successful Applications Announced Late April 2018

2018 Guidelines and Application Forms


For more information please contact the Victorian Branch on (03) 9320 1012 or via

Contact the Victorian Branch

Victorian Branch Services Coordinator
(Monday to Friday)

Ph: 03 9320 1000 or 1800 630 124 (toll free alternative)

Level 7, 14-20 Blackwood Street
North Melbourne

PO Box 2008
Royal Melbourne Hospital
Parkville Vic 3050

Connect with us on:

Upcoming events

  • Sorry there are currently no events scheduled.
More events
AASW - Australian Association of Social Workers