IAMAT |International Association of Medical Assistance to Travellers| IAMAT |International Association of Medical Assistance to Travellers|

The IAMAT-Violet Williams Travel Medicine Scholarship

Photo By: Calvin Chiu

Bringing travel medicine to more African countries

This is one of two scholarships awarded to a doctor or nurse living and working in an African country, outside of South Africa. Preference will be given to practitioners with knowledge in travel medicine and the capacity to expand the practice in their country.

The successful scholar will be sponsored by the Violet Williams Travel Medicine Scholarship. The scholarship is administered on behalf of IAMAT by the South African Society of Travel Medicine. SASTM’s mission is to guide the profession in all aspects relating to the practice of travel medicine, including training and accrediting travel health professionals.

The scholar attends a 5-day travel medicine course offered by SASTM in association with the University of the Witwatersrand and participates in clinical observations for 3 days at the Travel Doctor clinic in Johannesburg. The intensive course looks at all aspects of travel medicine, including patient-centered care, pre- and post-travel health protocols, and case studies. Prior to the course, the scholars are expected to study the provided educational materials in order to facilitate participation in the course. The scholars must write 2 exams (at the beginning and end of the course) and submit a travel medicine project. A Certificate of Competence will be issued by the University of the Witwatersrand upon successful completion.


IAMAT pays for the tuition, educational materials, local transportation, and accommodations. The recipient is responsible for transportation to South Africa and any additional miscellaneous costs. Upon successful completion of the course, IAMAT will reimburse the scholar for the airfare (economy class).

Course dates: May 3 - 7, 2023

Clinical observation dates: May 2 and 8 – 9, 2023 (one day before and two days after the Course)

The scholarship application period is now closed. If you wish to be notified when the application period opens, please email to info@iamat.org.

Violet's story

Violet Turnbull Williams was born on February 14, 1922 in Yorkshire, England, and grew up in the village of Ormesby. She was one of three remarkable children born to Fred and Em (née Gower) Turnbull.

Because of her reputation at the one-room school in the village and her love of reading, Vi, as she was known, was given the run of the library in the Squire's manor house. She was the first student in that little school to be granted a scholarship to extend her education. She was all set to continue to university, but World War II interrupted that. Though she never received an official degree, her love of learning persisted throughout her life.

Vi moved to London as a young woman and became a mental health counsellor. There she reconnected with a childhood friend, Griffin Williams. The two eventually married and moved to Hamilton, Canada, where Griff found work at the steel mills. Griff, as well as Vi's father and brothers, worked at the Cargo Fleet Steel Company in Middlesboro, and so the move to Hamilton was natural enough.

Meanwhile, Vi's brother Fred went from Cargo Fleet to Jessops Steel Company in Calcutta, India. He wrote fascinating letters back to the family during the four years he lived there, before he was tragically killed in an uprising at Jessops in 1949.

Her other sibling, Arthur, became an engineer, building paper mills all over the world. While Arthur, who was dyslexic, did not leave the legacy of letters Fred did, he did leave his considerable fortune to Vi when he died in the 1990s. Vi used Arthur's money to support art and culture in the Hamilton area. She was a generous donor to the Hamilton Poetry Centre, the Bach Elgar Choir, the Bruce Trail Association, the John Laing Singers, IAMAT, and many others.

But perhaps the most touching monument she left was to publish Fred's letters. They were published by West Meadow Press in 1996 under the title of Remember Me to Everybody: Letters from India, 1944 to 1949 by Frederick Gower Turnbull.

Vi died on February 3, 2012 and her ashes were scattered along the Bruce Trail in Ontario, Canada.

With thanks to Marc Castle.

Learn more about our scholarships

Support an IAMAT scholar

Are you considering a legacy gift? Please visit our Legacy Giving page or contact us or more information.

Last reviewed and updated: September 2, 2022

Travel Health Journal