Eight RMIT undergraduate students have been awarded Westpac’s prestigious 2017 Young Technologists Scholarship.
The scholarship, which provides $5000 a year for up to five years, aims to expand Australia’s technology talent pool by supporting undergraduates who are passionate about technology and innovation, and the impact it will have on the nation's economy.
Competition is fierce for the scholarship, with RMIT's eight successful students among just 35 recipients from 11 universities across Australia.
Susan Bannigan, CEO of the Westpac Bicentennial Foundation, said the scholarship is designed to attract young people from all walks of life, and encourages more high school leavers to consider a future in this field.
“The Westpac Young Technologists Scholarship aims to not only increase diversity in the industry but increase the number of people choosing a career in this field,” Bannigan said.
“We are thrilled to see over 50 percent of our 2017 cohort is female, and further nine of the 35 recipients are relocating from regional Australia to take up a technology-related degree."
RMIT undergraduate Joshua Males, a young indigenous student from Devonport, Tasmania, is determined to make his mark in technology and give back to his indigenous community. Joshua has relocated to Melbourne to commence a Bachelor of Information Technology.
“It has been my dream to study Information Technology at RMIT. I’m really excited about the opportunity I now have to become a programmer. It is my way of getting my ideas out there to help people," Males said.
The eight RMIT scholarship recipients are William Gould, Gabriella Makridis, Joshua Males, Max Oliphant-Hand, Tina Te, Mia Turner, Michael Vincent and Robyn Yun-yin Lee.
The Westpac Bicentennial Foundation is a scholarship fund with an exclusive focus on the education and advancement of Australians. A one-off contribution of $100 million will fund 100 scholarships and awards annually in perpetuity to Australians from all walks of life who have the potential to shape Australia’s future.
The Westpac Bicentennial Foundation Young Technologists Program aims to strengthen Australia’s pool of local talent, building a cohort of technology-literate future leaders. Importantly, the scholarships also aim to address the current lack of gender balance and diversity in technology graduates.
Story: Tamara Grigg