Technology scholarships open up brilliant digital experiences for Western students

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Seven of Western’s top information technology and cybersecurity students have won the prestigious Westpac Young Technology Scholarships for 2021, each worth $5000 per year over three years to work with leading digital professionals in Australia and Asia.

Designed to connect aspiring young technologists with the backing of Westpac’s 100 Scholars Network, the Young Technologists Scholarship program provides mentoring and career support, experiences in Australian and Asian digital businesses and the opportunity to further their own vision for success as an IT and technology professional.

For Misha Afzal, the scholarships are enabling her pursuit of crime-fighting solutions by combining her love for technology with legal expertise through her Bachelor of Information Systems (Advanced) and Bachelor of Law program.

“The Young Technologist Scholarship gave me the opportunity to pursue my long-term goal to combine technology and law, so I can focus on technological solutions to reduce crimes”, Misha said.

“My interests and hobbies include reading books, experimenting with technology and thinking analytically to find the solution to problems.”

For Boyd Kirkman, cybersecurity has always been about understanding how the design of digital systems can be enhanced to reduce security issues and vulnerabilities.

Through the Bachelor of Cyber Security and Behaviour at Western Sydney University, Boyd aims to increase literacy and awareness of digital security so that everyone can use computing technology securely.

“As I learnt more about computers, I could understand the reasons behind security practices. I noticed however, people unintentionally creating unnecessary risks for themselves online”, Boyd said.

“I would like to work in the cybersecurity sector to make a future where security online is accessible to everyone, and awareness of security risks is second nature to people.”

The seven Young Technology Scholars for 2021 are:

  • Boyd Kirkman - Bachelor of Cyber Security and Behaviour
  • Ella Morgan - Bachelor of Cyber Security and Behaviour
  • Genevieve Bryant - Bachelor of Design and Technology
  • Gunveer Cheema - Bachelor of Information Systems
  • Jasmin Javier - Bachelor of Information Systems
  • Julia Palazzolo - Bachelor of Information & Communications Technology
  • Misha Afzal - Bachelor of Information Systems (Advanced) and Bachelor of Law


12 April 2021

David Thompson - Media Officer (0429 951 552)