Members were finally able to meet some of our deserving 2021 awardees at the Celebrating Our Scholars event held on Thursday. It was worth the wait as this warm and intimate event enabled the executive to meet and present three of our scholars with their award certificates: Rhianne Scicluna – The Tempe Mann scholar, Halle Quang – the co-recipient of the national Barbara Hale Fellowship, and Natalie Purcell – the 2020 Education Trust awardee.
It was great to be able to meet safely in person, however, it was unfortunate that Sarah Clark – the 2021 Joan Bielski scholar – was unable to attend due to COVID affecting her family. Sarah sent some heartfelt words regarding being the recipient of this three-year scholarship:
“Financially attending university was filled with guilt and feelings of selfishness, that with every text book, computer or stationary item I needed I was taking money away from the family. I constantly questioned if I was doing the right thing studying at my age. While applying for the scholarship and reading about the Joan’s pioneering work and that of the GW-NSW I was inspired to think that maybe I was on the right path. Receiving the news, I had been awarded the Joan Bielski scholarship reinforced my belief I was doing the right thing.”
Sarah went on to say how “this second chance at education and improving my situation also provides an example to my children, that with hard work anything is possible and to never limit themselves.”
Everyone is thrilled for Sarah that she has completed her first year of a Bachelor of Social Work at the University of Wollongong and obtained high results. She expressed that with the support of the scholarship, ‘she has ‘the drive and passion to succeed not only through the degree but perhaps through further study and beyond into the workforce.’ Sarah hopes to pursue her areas of interest within social work: advocacy, policy and mediation within family services, justice and aged care.
At the event members enjoyed hearing from each award recipient about their study plans and aspirations.
The Education Trust – with tax deductible status – supports several of these awards that inspire, support and encourage women to reach their potential through higher education. We thank all members and associates who have generously donated to the Trust and Graduate Women’s state awards program.