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Scholarship winners begin 2004 with a head start


23 February 2004
2700 new first year students will be joining the student body across Southern Cross University’s (SCU) campuses this week as the first classes of the SCU academic year commence. Among these students will be our scholarship winners. These students have already proven themselves to be high achievers and they will be studying across a wide range of disciplines.

Each year five Vice-Chancellor’s Scholarships are awarded to students with excellent HSC results. One went to Trinity Catholic College student Emily Venn, who excelled in legal studies. Aiming her sights on a legal career, Ms Venn will be starting a Bachelor of Laws. Another winner, Stephanie Wilkinson, comes from Wooloware High School in Sydney. Ms Wilkinson is beginning her double degree in Business in Tourism Management/Law. “I’ve come here because SCU has the best reputation for tourism studies and, mixed with law, it’s a rare degree,” she said. “The scholarship means I don’t have to look for a job now, leaving me free for my studies because I’ll have a really full schedule.”

The three other winners are: Amanda Du Barrie, from Farleigh in North Queensland, who is starting a Bachelor of Naturopathy; Sarah Ireland, from Coffs Harbour, who is starting a Bachelor of Psychology; and Margaret Mohring, of Robina in Queensland, who is doing a Bachelor of Applied Science.

SCU’s Inaugural Sponsor, the Summerland Credit Union, has been with SCU’s Scholarship Scheme since 1985. This year they’re supporting Shanti Das to achieve a double degree in Business and Law. Shanti attended Byron Bay High and has always wanted to study law. “I come from a low income family and I believe that studying law and business will empower me,” she said. “The scholarship will make a huge difference, because we had a lot of financial difficulties while I was at school. I left in Year 11 and worked as a waitress for a while, before deciding I didn’t want to be stuck doing that forever. Time to go back to school and get that degree.”

Louise Hayward is excited about starting her Bachelor of Business degree, having won a scholarship from Rutherfords Chartered Accountants. Louise attended Lismore High School and excelled in Accounting. “I want to have my own accounting firm one day,” she said, “and receiving the scholarship has motivated me even more.”

The two Koori Mail Scholarship winners are Lara Buchert, of Moruya, and Beth Wrigley, of Coffs Harbour. Ms Wrigley, who will start a Bachelor of Nursing, said she hoped to eventually work in remote Aboriginal communities. A single mother of four, she said the Scholarship would definitely make studying easier.

Kirklands Coaches scholarship winner Amber Kelly attended Alstonville High School where she excelled in geography and biology. At SCU she’ll be studying a Bachelor in Environmental Science and Management, which reflects her personal interests. “I live in a rainforest area and love the environment,” she said. For Ms Kelly, the scholarship makes a big difference to her life. “I’m really pleased, I didn’t expect it!” She said. “This really takes the stress off going to uni.”

The Amlink Technologies scholarship winner, Emma Alcorn, is looking forward to starting her Bachelor of Business in Tourism Management. “I love talking and working with people and there’s so much scope in the tourism industry,” she said. “The scholarship gives me a great head start. One day I’d like to be running a big hotel company and seeing the world.”

Samantha Grace has been actively involved in the tourism industry since she was 15. . “I’ve always been really passionate about getting into tourism,” she said. Ms Grace has been awarded a scholarship from the Beach Hotel at Byron Bay. “I’m so stoked – I couldn’t be happier,” she said. “I’ve been going to the Beach Hotel since I was a kid – it’s great to get a scholarship from a place I love and admire.” Ms Grace will be studying a Bachelor of Business in Tourism Management.

Andrew Fox from Kadina High has received a scholarship from Tourism NSW for his Bachelor of Business in Tourism degree. “I researched all the tourism courses available and SCU has the best, because it’s so practical,” he said “It’s a very prestigious scholarship. I feel like I have my foot in the door already with a sense of direction.”

Tweed Shire Council has offered four scholarships to deserving school students this year: Amanda Ashton, Renee Saunders, Karissa Butler and Simone Young. Amanda Ashton from Tweed Valley College, Murwillumbah, keeps herself busy working in her parents’ garage as a tyre-fitter. This year Ms Ashton will be starting her Bachelor of Nursing degree. “I’m very interested in the variety of careers offered within nursing,” she said. “I’ve always wanted to help people and the scholarship helps me because I can focus more on my studies, with no worries about financial problems.”

Renee Saunders was inspired to apply for a double Bachelor of Applied Science and Tourism Management degree after a family holiday to Cairns. “It was so beautiful there that it opened up my mind to wanting to get involved in the tourism industry,” she said. “Having a scholarship makes it so much better!”

Karissa Butler has set her sights on a career as a science teacher, with a Bachelor of Applied Science and Education (Secondary) degree. “I had a great science teacher at Kingscliff High,” she said. “It’s a fascinating subject for me.” The scholarship will ease her financial worries. “It will make studying so much easier,” she said.

Simone Young attended Kingscliff High as well. At SCU she’ll be studying a combined degree, a Bachelor in Human Movement Science, Bachelor of Education (Secondary), thanks to her scholarship from Tweed Valley Council.

Alex Kowalczyk comes from Richmond River High, and has had a fascination for computers since he was a small boy. Mr Kowalczyk received the Xerox Shop Lismore scholarship and will be studying a Bachelor in Information Technology. “I find the complexity of computers intensely interesting, especially the programming,” he said. “Having a scholarship means I can pay my fees up front so I get the HECS reduction and I can afford all my books,” he said. He sees himself working in a big computer company some day.

Caption: Koori Mail scholarship winner Beth Wrigley will have a head start in her Bachelor of Nursing degree at the Coffs Harbour campus.

Media contact: Brigid Veale, SCU Media Liaison, 66593006 or m.0439 680 748.