Sydney Zoo scholarships support local students with ambition

Western Sydney University is pleased to announce the inaugural recipients of the Sydney Zoo Scholarship in Tourism Management and Sydney Zoo Scholarship in Animal Science/Zoology, Christian Dan Anonuevo and Katelyn Mitchell.

Valued at up to $30,000, the scholarships will support the undergraduate students throughout their degrees and include an internship experience with the new world-class zoo located in Western Sydney.

As the official Tertiary Education Partner of Sydney Zoo, the University is collaborating on research, internship and scholarship opportunities. Students will also benefit from access to a range of real-world, hands-on experiences through the zoo, including applied projects, behind the scenes tours for those studying related fields, and guest lectures from Sydney Zoo staff.

Recipient and Penrith resident Christian Dan Anonuevo, who is studying the Bachelor of Tourism Management, returned to university as a mature aged student after a decade in the workforce.

“The scholarship has been a driving force that continues to give me the confidence to do well in my course,” said Christian.

After much debate, Christian followed his life-long passion for travel and the natural world and hopes to work in destination management, in a role that focuses on improving sustainable outcomes in the tourism industry.

“I feel that tourism has so many positives to offer society at large. It's a fantastic way of exploring different cultures. It helps people better relate to one another and develop an understanding and appreciation for the natural world,” said Christian.

“It's brilliant that Sydney Zoo has opened up in Western Sydney. Not only is the zoo a destination, but it’s at the forefront of conservation education.”

For Zoology student Katelyn Mitchell, who is also from Penrith, receiving the scholarship puts her one step closer to her dream of becoming a zookeeper.

“Animals have always been an interest for me for as long as I can remember. There was no other future that interested me more. And my parents always encouraged me to do something I loved,” said Katelyn.

Katelyn is currently working as a veterinary nurse but hopes to further her career and work with exotic animals and wildlife after she graduates.

“When I was in Year 10, I heard Sydney Zoo was planning to open and I told myself that one day I would work there. So, when I received the email about receiving the scholarship and internship opportunity, I could not believe it,” said Katelyn.

“Not only will the scholarship help me get through uni but the internship will kick-start my career, giving me practical experience with the experts at Sydney Zoo.”

Jake Burgess, Sydney Zoo Managing Director said, “Sydney Zoo shares Western Sydney University’s passion and commitment to positively impacting the local community, so we are proud to provide students with a hands-on learning experience at a world-class facility that is on their doorstep.”


26 October 2020

Ali Sardyga, Media Officer

Photo credit: Sally Tsoutas