As a result of donations to the Building Excellence Campaign, over $1.6 million in new scholarships, bursaries and prizes was raised. To date, these funds have been awarded to over 300 deserving students.
The story behind each of these student recipients is inspirational. Donor-supported assistance in particular touches each life profoundly -- not just financially, but psychologically as well.
Indigenous Health Scholarship
Thanks to support from the Australian Rotary Health Research Fund, Nicole is the recipient of one of three USC scholarships for indigenous students who are studying health sciences.
Nicole is studying psychology and exercise science at USC with a clear goal of going back into indigenous communities to work in mental health. Specifically, she wants to get students back into school by building their confidence.
Nicole’s goal was inspired by members of her own family. Her father is a football coach, and had long observed that indigenous kids’ grades improve as their confidence on the field does.
Her great uncle, a school teacher to indigenous students, was one of Queensland’s first Aboriginals to graduate from university. And Nicole’s grandmother spent a career assisting with indigenous housing issues.
“I’d like to be a role model for younger Aboriginal kids too,” Nicole says. With the support of her USC scholarship, it’s all but certain she will be.
The Renouf Family Scholarship
Hailing from Hervey Bay, Karina graduated from Urangan State High School with an OP1. With her pick of Australian universities, she decided on USC and its offer of a generous Renouf Family Scholarship for Academic Excellence.
Within just one year of starting her degree, the biomedical science student has already completed some nationally-significant research.
Karina, 18, has tested whether commercially-available omega 3 fatty acid capsules in Australia contain the concentrations of the fatty acid indicated on their labels.
“University would be a great burden on my family if it weren’t for the scholarship.”
Food Standards Australia New Zealand funded Karina’s research and recently flew her to its head office in Canberra to present her findings to scientists there and by video link to other scientists in New Zealand.
“I was in the lab for about eight weeks over summer for this research. I loved it. This is the type of research that I want to do after I graduate,” she said.
“University would be a great burden on my family if it weren’t for the scholarship. I very much want to keep in touch with the Renouf Family. I am so thankful to them, from the bottom of my heart.”
The Mosel Prizes for Engineering and Nursing
Dr Leonie Mosel Williams is one of several USC staff members who made a significant gift to the Building Excellence Campaign. As a Senior Lecturer in the Nursing department at USC, she established two student prizes to honour her parents Lawrence and Evelyn Mosel– one in Nursing and one in Engineering.
Although Leonie was quite young when she lost her mother to a fatal illness, she clearly remembers the support of the caring and competent nursing staff that surrounded her mother in hospital for long periods of time.
Leonie’s father, a powerful inspiration in her life, was an engineer who was schooled during the Great Depression. His education was funded by scholarships. “He was highly motivated and very creative,” Leonie recounts. “Although he was trained as a surveyor, he succeeded in difficult times by building radios and adapting his skills to opportunities around him.”
Leonie describes her father as extremely generous and kind, especially with the disadvantaged.
“Even in business, he would favour smaller organisations over big corporations. This was a big part of my decision to give to USC. My philanthropic support here has far greater impact than it might at a larger, more established university.”