Regional students receive scholarship

The financial burden of studying at university – including travel, accommodation and books – has been eased for three regional La Trobe University students, after they were awarded scholarships by the Australian Rail Track Corporation.

Comprising $5000 per year for each year of study, the scholarships enable regional students to undertake studies, and ultimately pursue careers that enrich and diversify regional economies and contribute positively to their communities.

La Trobe University Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Global and Regional), Professor Richard Speed, thanked the Australian Rail Track Corporation (ARTC) for their support.

“These generous scholarships ensure that students who might not otherwise be able to attend university can do so through critical financial support,” Professor Speed said.

“La Trobe’s regional graduates are highly skilled and career-ready.”

“Through our valued partnership, ARTC is directly contributing to the University’s positive impact in regional and rural communities,” Professor Speed said.

This year’s scholarship recipients are Kasey Watson and Renee Smith, both studying in Bendigo, and Tyler Barnes, studying in Albury-Wodonga.

Kasey, who has always wanted to study nursing and midwifery, said the scholarship will enable her to focus on her degree.

“My passion for people was a big influence and I find pregnancy such an amazing process, so I just wanted to learn about it. I can’t remember there being a time I didn’t want to do it,” she said.

“The financial reassurance of this scholarship will make a huge difference to me.”

Bachelor of Nursing student, Renee Smith, was happy and relieved to be awarded the scholarship.

“When I got the scholarship I was just so excited. This is going to help pay for a lot of things and support me through my placements and paying rent. It helps a lot,” Renee said.

Tyler says the scholarship will allow him to focus on his biomedical science studies, and not worry about costs like transport.

“I was ecstatic when I found out I had got the scholarship. I won’t have to work as many shifts in my part time job which means I can focus on study,” Tyler said.

“I live about 45 minutes away so it really helps with things like petrol.”

The Inland Rail scholarships are offered to students studying at La Trobe’s Bendigo, Shepparton, Albury-Wodonga, Mildura and Melbourne campuses, provided students reside within the Inland Rail track local government areas.

The program is a partnership between ARTC’s Inland Rail Skills Academy and three regional universities. It helps provide students with targeted support to build their interpersonal skills, job readiness, workplace experience and general health and wellbeing, with the aim of all students successfully completing their degree.