TJ Ryan Memorial Medal and Scholarships


Up to 10 TJ Ryan Memorial Medal and Scholarships are awarded each year, to support exemplary Queensland students to pursue tertiary studies.

State and non-state secondary schools can nominate one high achieving year 12 student for this award. Nominees should demonstrate outstanding leadership in their school and community and academic excellence.

History of the scholarship

The TJ Ryan Memorial Medal represents a long-standing tradition of recognising educational achievement in Queensland. The award is a memorial to Thomas Joseph Ryan, former teacher, barrister and Queensland Premier (1915–1919), and are provided to students who demonstrate a strong commitment to high academic achievement and outstanding leadership in both their school and the local community.

From 1927 to 1970, the TJ Ryan Memorial Scholarship was awarded to the student who achieved the highest result in the state scholarship examination. The scholarship program ceased with the end of these public examinations.

In 1993, the TJ Ryan Awards were re-introduced by the Queensland Government. The award was open to students from disadvantaged backgrounds who demonstrated academic excellence and who displayed leadership qualities through their achievements in Year 12. From 1996, the awards were expanded to all students who demonstrate outstanding leadership qualities and academic excellence during their senior years at high school.

In 2003, the award was renamed the TJ Ryan Memorial Medal and Scholarships but has also been known as the Premier's Awards and the Lilley Medal. Up to ten TJ Ryan Memorial Medal and Scholarships are awarded each year.

View what others say about the scholarship (duration 2.59 minutes).

Award details

Each year, the Queensland Department of Education awards:

  • up to 10 TJ Ryan Memorial Medalists:
    • a scholarship of up to $10,000 over 5 years
    • a certificate of recognition
  • up to 5 TJ Ryan Highly Commended awards:
    • a one-off cash payment of $1,000
    • a certificate of recognition
  • up to 20 TJ Ryan Merit awards:
    • a certificate of merit.

How schools nominate their candidate

Each Queensland secondary school can submit one only nominee.

  • Review the Nomination Guidelines provided
  • Schools determine their one nominee
  • Review the nomination process with the selected nominee to prepare a nomination

Student nominee submits the nomination.

  • Gather all supporting documents (as listed in the Scholarship Checklist provided)
  • Visit Smart Jobs to nominate yourself for the scholarship
  • Click the green ‘apply now’ button at the bottom of that page to proceed – you may need to create an account
  • When logged in to the Smart Jobs account, complete the online questionnaire and upload all required supporting documents
  • Submit nomination by the closing date
Nominate your candidate for the scholarship via Smart Jobs.

Enquiries and further information

Nominations for the 2021 TJ Ryan Memorial Medal and Scholarship program have now closed.

Subscribe to receive an email when applications for the 2022 scholarships program opens.

Specific inquiries should be emailed to or telephone on (07) 3055 2991.

Last updated 17 December 2020