Scholarships celebrated at special Parramatta South ceremony

Matilda HarryMatilda Harry

More than 130 Western Sydney University scholarship recipients have been congratulated at a special awards ceremony on the Parramatta South campus.

On Friday 15 September 2017, the University hosted its annual Scholarships Awards Ceremony – to commend students, as well as to thank the generous donors from throughout Greater Western Sydney.

The wide-ranging scholarships are funded by the University, as well as by businesses, community groups and individuals. They can be awarded for academic excellence and leadership potential, as well as on the basis of equity considerations.

Of the University-funded scholarships, five high-achieving and community-minded students were awarded Vice Chancellor’s Leadership Scholarships (VCLS).

One such recipient is 19-year-old Matilda Harry, a Bachelor of Arts (Pathway to Teaching Primary) student from Kurragong Heights.

Matilda says the $10,000 per year VCLS takes the financial pressure away from studying and allows her to focus on what’s important – volunteering and family.

"Being financially supported has definitely taken the pressure off me. As an 18 year old, living in a single-income home, it has given me more opportunities to spend time volunteering and with my family," says Matilda.

Matilda volunteers as a Western Sydney University Reading Ambassador at Willmot Public School. She is also a mentor for AIME – the University’s mentoring network for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students. This completes the AIME cycle for Matilda, who was mentored herself as a student at Colo High School.

"There is nothing more rewarding than helping others learn. I couldn't believe how privileged I was to receive the education I did,” says Matilda.

"I've been given so many opportunities throughout my education; it's only fair that I give back."

Elizabeth GosbellVice-Chancellor Professor Barney Glover with Elizabeth Gosbell

Another VCLS scholarship recipient is 18-year-old Elizabeth Gosbell, a Bachelor of Medicine/ Bachelor of Surgery student from Epping.

When Elizabeth’s house burnt down at the beginning of year 12, her expectations for her HSC took a hit.

“I lost all my notes, and everything I had done to prepare for year 12 was gone,” says Elizabeth.

In the weeks that followed, friends rushed to help – sending Elizabeth study notes and offering their extra resources.

All of Elizabeth’s hard work paid off when she received an ATAR of 99.45 and was admitted into the University’s medicine program. Elizabeth is currently living on campus at Campbelltown, which is something she wouldn’t have been able to do without the assistance of the scholarship.

“Campbelltown is a wonderful community and having the opportunity to visit Campbelltown Hospital once a week as part of class is the best way for me to see the profession in practice.”

As a house captain and prefect at Hornsby Girls High school, Elizabeth has been involved in a number of community fundraising initiatives including the Make-A-Wish Foundation and Hornsby Ku-ring-gai Women’s Shelter.

Also receiving a scholarship was Danielle Richards, an 21-year-old Bachelor of Education (Primary) ATSIE student from Condobolin in Central West NSW.

Danielle is the recipient of the $5,000 per year John R Marsden Memorial Scholarship for Indigenous Students. The scholarship will help Danielle pursue her dream of becoming a teacher.

“Statistically, Aboriginal children have low literacy and numeracy rates. Becoming a teacher, and a role model for other Indigenous teachers, will help me work toward improving educational outcomes,” says Danielle.

“When I graduate, I hope to come back to my home town of Condobolin to start my teaching career. I hope to make an impact on all children, especially Aboriginal children.”


19 September 2017

Danielle Roddick, Senior Media Officer