Scholarship recipient forges a path in Pasifika excellence

Kobe Lepua is the proud recipient of this year’s Pasifika Achievement to Higher Education (PATHE) Academic Scholarship valued at up to $20,000.

An enthusiast rugby league player, Kobe has been recognised not only for his academic achievements in the Higher School Certificate last year, but for his positive attitude and ability to balance his studies and interests.

Now in his first year of a double degree in Business and Science at Western Sydney University, Kobe is following in the footsteps of his two siblings who also study at the University, while forging his own path as a Student Ambassador to encourage others in his community.

“I really enjoyed science at school. I was committed to my studies but I was also really passionate about sports,” said Kobe.

“I felt lucky to have my sister Jasmine and brother Tyson to look up to and to guide me through the HSC and applying to university.

“Receiving the scholarship means a lot to me and my family.”

The Blacktown resident is one of the many students who engage with the University’s Pasifika Achievement to Higher Education (PATHE) Program during high school.

Now a representative for the program, Kobe recently returned to his former school — Patrician Brothers’ College in Blacktown —to present his first session.

“I think there are lots of driven and talented students from Pacific communities out there. It’s really important to get information to them about the different pathways available,” he said.

“Participating in the PATHE program during high school gave me the confidence to study a double degree and to apply for a scholarship.

“I’m really enjoying talking to students face-to-face out in the community, and I hope they get the same boost from the program as I did.”

Kobe’s sister Jasmine, who is in her second year of a Bachelor of Nursing, said she was very proud to hear her brother had received an offer to his degree of choice and a scholarship.

“When I heard that Kobe got a scholarship, I was inspired by the news. He has always been a quiet achiever and hard worker, so I believe this scholarship acknowledges and rewards him for all the hard work he has put in towards his studies,” said Jasmine.

Widening Participation Engagement Community Project Officer, Bronwyn Williams, said Kobe is a fantastic ambassador because he understands the difficulties and pressures of high school and he can show students how to overcome these challenges.

“We recently went back to Kobe’s old high school for workshops and talked about his accomplishments and you could see the pride on students faces that he went to their school,” said Bronwyn.

“He is a great example of balancing commitments especially at a young age given his love for sport and academia. He shows huge leadership potential and we can’t wait to see what he does once he has graduated from University.”

Western Sydney University’s Pasifika Achievement to Higher Education (PATHE) Program strives to develop aspirations towards further education and training in Pacific communities. Established in 2012, PATHE promotes options for Pasifika people to develop and gain new skills and new knowledge, leading to greater opportunities throughout their lives.

For more information, visit the PATHE webpage (opens in a new window).


3 June 2021

Ali Sardyga, Senior Media Officer

Photo credit: Sally Tsoutas