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Emilie Wells, Media and Public Relations Officer, University of Wollongong
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Rural and regional students recognised by George Alexander Foundation

Five UOW students awarded scholarships for commitment to community. 

For the first time, five University of Wollongong (UOW) students from rural and regional areas have been recognised for their talent and work ethic as part of the 2018 George Alexander Foundation Scholarships.

The George Alexander Foundation (GAF) has been supporting tertiary scholarships since 2002, providing financial support to students with academic ability, leadership potential, and a commitment to their community.

Hollie Wornes (Bachelor of Journalism), Jackson Cocks (Bachelor of Engineering (Honours)/Bachelor of Laws), Joseph Stewart (Bachelor of Engineering (Honours)), Callum Somerville (Bachelor of Mathematics/Bachelor of Science (Physics)) and Tess Shepherd (Bachelor of Laws – Direct Entry) were recently named as the successful recipients of the 2018 George Alexander Foundation Scholarships.

The scholarships, valued at more than $20,000 each, take into consideration the level and quality of community participation undertaken by the applicant, including volunteering, work history, and other extracurricular activities, as well as the applicant’s academic standing and the measure of leadership potential demonstrated throughout their academic, professional, and personal life.

Hollie said her involvement in extracurricular activities was the key to finding success in high school, and now university.

“I think it's so important to do the things that make you feel good, like catching up with friends, going for a walk on the beach and then planning study around that,” she said.

“I feel as though when I plan my study around my other activities, I study more efficiently because I know I have only a shorter amount of time and I haven't got other things on my mind so I focus.

“If I didn't have this balance, I think my study would be less effective and I'd probably go crazy.”

For Callum, who grew up in a small rural town in Tasmania, the transition to life in Wollongong was “like moving to a different planet”.

“In my home town it would be a very unusual day if you walked down the main street and didn’t know or know of most of the people you walked past,” he said.

“You can never really prepare yourself for how different it really is.”

An “existential crisis” in Year 10 led Callum to a decision to study maths and science.

“I decided the best way I can make an impact in this world was to research science and help in advancing society,” Callum said.

“With maths, I noticed how the more difficult mathematics became, the more it seemed to perfectly explain something.”

George Alexander was a great believer in the importance of philanthropy and always hoped that his example of giving in his lifetime would inspire others to do the same. He has been quoted as saying, “It's not clever to hold onto it until the last minute, and I am sure you can't take it with you when you leave.”

Pictured: Callum Somerville

Posted in Education
Tagged: Scholarships