Six undergraduate scholarships valued at up to $20,000 each have been awarded by the Australian Rail Track Corporation (ARTC) to La Trobe University and Charles Sturt University (CSU) students through the Inland Rail Skills Academy program.
In partnership with the universities, undergraduate degree students living near ARTC’s Inland Rail project alignment were invited to apply for the scholarships, worth $5000 for every year of study of their degree.
ARTC interim Inland Rail chief executive Rebecca Pickering said the academic grants enabled students to undertake studies and ultimately pursue careers to enrich and diversify regional economies and contribute positively to their communities.
“Through the first round, we provided support to four deserving La Trobe students studying biomedical science, nursing, midwifery and a Bachelor of Arts at the university’s regional campuses,” she said.
“Scholarships were also awarded to another two deserving CSU students studying medical radiation science (diagnostic radiography) and veterinary biology/Bachelor of Veterinary Science and Education.
“We’re supporting students in regional areas because the cost of going to university and living away from home can be out of reach for some students who may be experiencing financial hardship or family pressures.
“These scholarships, and any employment opportunities they unlock, will act as a catalyst for positive change in many regional communities along the Inland Rail project alignment.”
La Trobe University recipient Tyler Barns, who is studying a Bachelor of Biomedical Science at the Albury-Wodonga campus, said he was honoured to receive an Inland Rail Scholarship.
“This scholarship has changed my life. It means that I can fulfil my goals of studying biomedical science to become a general practitioner,” he said.
“Studying at a regional university is a great privilege that gives me a large sense of belonging and feeling part of a local community. Being at a regional campus allows me to build a strong relationship with my lecturers and fellow regional students.”
CSU recipient Hannah Davies, who is studying a Bachelor of Medical Radiation Science at CSU’s Wagga Wagga campus, said receiving the scholarship relieved the financial stress associated with university learning.
“I am able to focus more predominantly on my studies rather than financial burdens,” she said.
“This assistance also meant that I could work less hours per week, giving me time to study harder and care for unwell family members – it has made me feel more positive about everything.”