The Trustees of the Trust give funds to five tertiary organisations, our "Partners", four in South Australia and one in Queensland.

These partners call for applications, and then select students for scholarships or grants. The selection criteria are based on financial circumstances, with preference given to regional and rural students. The value of each award varies.

Here are the details of the grants available.


Trust History

The Cowan Grant Trust is a private charity providing financial help to tertiary students, in accordance with the Will of the late Mrs. A.M. (Marnie) Cowan and her husband W.A. (Bill) Cowan of Adelaide.


Since inception in 1994, more than 1400 students have been helped by scholarships and grants totaling over $3m. The Trust continues to be managed by a Board of the Cowan family, dedicated to assist regional Tertiary Students.

W.A. (BILL) COWAN also born in New Zealand, graduated dux of Otago Boy's High, then MA (Otago). He struggled financially while studying for his BA (Hone) at London University. It was this difficult time that motivated him to find a way to support struggling tertiary students. He returned to N.Z., taught briefly, and was then appointed Librarian of the Barr Smith Library and Classics lectured at the University of Adelaide. A plague in the Library entrance recognises his 31 years contribution to the University. He was a scholar of the Classics, a perfectionist, sometimes demanding, and had a formidable general knowledge. He invested well, building a substantial share portfolio though the family live very frugally. He died in 1984, aged 76.

Bill Cowan Barr Smith Library Fellowship

         For further information contact the Library, p 08 8313 5759

         or library@

Cowan Grant Trustees (from L to R) Leigh Cowan, Gayle Cowan, Bob Cowan, Tiffanie Cowan & Jeremy Cowan


 Marnie Cowan Music Scholarships at the Elder Conservatorium of


         For further information contact  ECM p  08 8313 5995  or



         Cowan James Morrison Music Academy Grants

         Cowan STS “Young Endeavour” 11-day sailing voyage.

         Cowan Placement Grants,      For further information contact:

                in Adelaide,  Development Officer  p 08 8302 7634; or

                 Mount Gambier (for music) p 08 8721 8901


            Scolarships are given to assist with board and residence.

            further information contact College Dean p 08 8334 5604 or


KATHLEEN LUMLEY COLLEGE (Post-graduate only)

            At least one Residential Bursary is given each year. For further

            Information contact the College, p 088267 3270 or



           One STS “Young Endeavour” 11-day sailing voyage is given to a

           JCU student each year. For further information contact

           P 07 4781 6473 or

Marnie Cowan (nee Mowlem) was born in New Zealend, graduated BA from Otago University, taught in N.Z. and traveled to Europe, then moved to Adelaide with husband Bill. After rearing three children, she taught and became Chief of Staff at PGC, now Seymore College in Adelaide. She was a character, a leader, a sportswoman, and a competent pianist. She was very well read, cheerful, candid, insightful, and possessed a piercing sense of humour. After Bill died, she gave the family home in Toorak Gardens to the Salvation Army, donated generously to charity, and with son Bob established the Cowan Grant Trust. She died in 1995, aged 86.