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Million dollar scholarship program boosts students' success


13/03/2014

Young Australians have shared in more than $1 million worth of scholarships thanks to Bendigo and Adelaide Bank and its program partners.

This year the Bank has handed out more than 170 scholarships, to first and second year students.

The program has been made possible thanks to support from the Bank's Community Bank network, and its educational partners La Trobe University and University of Melbourne.

This makes the program one of the largest privately funded scholarships in Australia, with more than $2.5 million handed out to 260 students since its inception.

Bendigo and Adelaide Bank Chairman Robert Johanson said he did not imagine how far the program would grow when he launched it in 2007 with just one scholarship.

Mr Johanson said this year's recipients came from every corner of the nation, from a remote cattle station in central Queensland, to the southern tip of Tasmania.

"For many young people in rural and regional areas, this financial support is the difference between whether they can attend university or have to miss out," Mr Johanson said.

"We want to make sure these gifted students have the opportunity to fulfil their potential no matter the difficulties they have faced.

"Each of this year's recipients has overcome a range of obstacles including drought, illness, disability, poverty, war and violence, but none have let that get in the way of achieving their academic dreams.

"They are all a testament to the power of hard work in the face of adversity, of never giving up."

For 19-year-old Laura Auberson, of Orange NSW, winning the Bendigo and Adelaide Bank 2014 Scholarship means she will be the first person in her family to attend university.

Laura said that living in a rural town meant a costly relocation was the only option to access the best in tertiary education, and coming from a single-parent family, money was tight.

Thanks to the scholarship Laura will be able to study law at University of Adelaide, as well as continue her violin studies at the prestigious Elders Conservatorium, without unneeded financial stress.

"I can't wait to experience university life, gain new skills, and make new friends," Laura said.

"The Bendigo and Adelaide Bank scholarship means I can concentrate on reaching my academic goals and making my family proud."

Recipients of the Bendigo and Adelaide Bank 2014 Scholarship include:

  • Najibullah Hashimi - Castlemaine, Victoria
  • Vanessa Forsythe - Gladstone, Queensland
  • Hadia Elahi - Swan Hill, Victoria
  • Hilary Wood - Blackall, Queensland
  • Jae-Marie Jaensch - Nuriootpa, South Australia
  • Gaby Bolton - Inverleigh, Victoria
  • Alicia Giles - Bendigo, Victoria
  • Eva Duck - Gympie, Queensland
  • Jeannie Harris - Upper Castra, Tasmania
  • Charles Kellock - Eagle Point, Victoria
  • Jasmine Brauman - Davistown, New South Wales
  • Rebekah Dolan - Terranora, New South Wales
  • Laura Auberson - Orange, New South Wales
  • Kate Donovan - Atherton, Queensland
  • Daniel Lee - Blackmans Bay, Tasmania