The Scholarship celebrates the career of Australian first female Ambassador, Miss Ruth Dobson. As one of the few institutions researching diplomacy in the southern hemisphere, the Asia-Pacific College of Diplomacy offers this scholarship, the first of its type, to support international postgraduate students in their endeavours in becoming future leaders in diplomacy.
Ruth Dobson’s career in foreign affairs commenced in 1943 where she was research assistant, Department of External Affairs. From 1946-1949 she worked at the External Affairs Office, Australian High Commission in London. From 1950-1953 she served as third secretary in Geneva as well as being on the Third Committee of the General Assembly of the United Nations drafting the convention of the Status of Women. From 1954-1960 she was appointed second secretary to the Information Branch, Canberra and in 1961 was elevated to first secretary, Australian High Commission, Wellington. In 1969 Dobson was assigned to New York as Australian representative at the UN General Assembly. In 1971-1974 she served as counsellor and deputy head of mission, Australian Embassy in Athens.
The 1970s marked the highlight of Dobson's diplomatic career. From 1974-1978 she was appointed Ambassador to Denmark, the first woman career diplomat to be an Australian ambassador. From 1978-1981 she served as Ambassador to the Republic of Ireland. She was awarded an OBE in 1982.
In Australia she was vice president of Royal Commonwealth Society, committee member of the Australian Institute of International Affairs and member of the Immigration Review Panel.