Academia and heart recognised through prestigious scholarship

Vice Chancellor Barney Glover with Emily Woods, Tiffany Tan, Rohan Pearson-Bourne and Astha Malik who have been awarded the Vice-Chancellor's Leadership Scholarship.

Four students have been awarded Western Sydney University’s most prestigious undergraduate scholarship for 2018.

The Vice-Chancellor’s Leadership Scholarship acknowledges current school leavers who demonstrate academic excellence and exceptional leadership skills.

Valued at up to $50,000, the scholarship provides financial support for the span of the students’ degrees.

This year’s recipients are pursuing medicine, medical science and engineering, drawing on both their academic aptitude and desire to improve health and environmental outcomes in Western Sydney and abroad.

Astha Malik, an 18-year-old James Ruse Agricultural High School student recognised for her ATAR of 98.7 and her community work to promote multiculturalism, is embarking on a five-year medicine degree.

“I’m excited about the future of medicine and how research, technology and legislation can play a role in shaping healthcare,” said Astha.

“I would like to practise within the greater Western Sydney community, and my goal is to make an impact in areas where there may be individuals who face barriers to accessing healthcare.”

Astha’s appreciation for healthcare professionals started when she was treated for Joint Hypermobility syndrome at the Children's Hospital at Westmead.

“Being unwell allowed me to build a level of resilience, which I didn’t possess prior to that time.”

17-year-old Hurlstone Agricultural High School student Tiffany Tan, who is also studying medicine, is determined to become a doctor of ophthalmology following many visits to the eye specialist and local GP during her childhood.

Tiffany will be joining her mother in the medical profession, after receiving an ATAR of 97.2.

“My mother is very smart and was able to study medicine in Australia– but unfortunately her family didn’t have enough money to cover the expenses for her university course as an international student,” said Tiffany.

“Nonetheless, she absolutely loves her job as a physio since she is able to improve her patients’ quality of life.

“This in itself motivated me from a young age to strive to become involved in the healthcare industry.”

Tiffany’s academic aptitude is matched by her creative side. Her online blog, ‘tiffstudies’, has gained 12,000 followers since its inception last year and is a place where she shares her study tips and tricks.

St Patricks College student Emily Woods is studying the Bachelor of Medical Science (Advanced) and hopes to enter medicine in the coming years to become a paediatrician, after being born 12 weeks premature herself and benefitting from expert care at Liverpool and Campbelltown hospital.

The 18-year-old supported herself through the HSC by working as a duty manager at the Appin IGA.

“Being able to work enough hours at my part-time job to ensure I had enough money to provide for myself and meet my daily and university expenses was never going to be easy,” said Emily.

“The scholarship will take some of this burden and stress away, giving me more opportunity to focus on my studies and hopefully enhance my chances of getting into medicine in the coming years.”

18-year-old Telopea resident, Rohan Pearson-Bourne’s passion for math and science, and real-world applications lead him to enrol in both the Bachelor of Engineering (Advanced) and the Bachelor of Applied Leadership and Critical Thinking.

“I’m fascinated by water collection and distribution, as well as hydroelectricity,” said Rohan.

“The projects that inspire me in the industry are renewable energy projects, including the Snowy Mountain Hydro Scheme.”

Rohan has joined Engineers Without Borders, a community organisation that aims to ensure engineering as a profession contributes to world humanitarian crises and sustainable living practices.

“I enjoy solving real life problems, no matter how small, as well as learning new methods and experiments,” said Rohan.

“The next generation will have far greater knowledge and challenges in front of them.”

As part of the Vice-Chancellor’s Leadership Scholarship, all four students will have access to The Academy, a unique learning experience equipping students with leadership and analytical skills.

Applications for the 2019 Vice-Chancellor’s Leadership Scholarship are open.


2 July 2018

Ali Sardyga, Marketing Officer