Award win­ner keen to re­turn to a re­gional life

Pilbara News - - News - Tom Zaun­mayr

A prospec­tive ru­ral med­i­cal stu­dent re­ceived the City of Kar­ratha’s high­est ed­u­ca­tional hon­our at a cer­e­mony in the coun­cil cham­bers last week.

The Walk­ing­ton Award has been run­ning for 32 years and grants the win­ner $5000 to­wards ter­tiary ed­u­ca­tion.

Last year’s win­ner An­shula Ashish is one year into a de­gree in medicine at Mel­bourne’s Monash Uni­ver­sity.

At a cer­e­mony on Mon­day, Novem­ber 21, an­other St Luke’s Col­lege grad­u­ate, So­phie Sparks, re­ceived the 2016 Walk­ing­ton Award.

Ms Sparks said the award would ease the bur­den on her­self and her fam­ily of re­lo­cat­ing to Perth for study.

“I have been sav­ing for quite a while,” she said.

“But even with those funds put aside I knew my sav­ings wouldn’t go quite as far as I had hoped they would. I’d like to one day to re­turn to Kar­ratha or some­where ru­ral where I can have the op­por­tu­nity to help out a com­mu­nity.”

City of Kar­ratha Mayor Peter Long said it was hum­bling to hear of Ms Sparks’ and other past re­cip­i­ents’ de­sire to re­turn to Kar­ratha.

“We want to make ed­u­ca­tion one of the things we are known for in Kar­ratha,” he said.

“To me that’s part of be­ing a city.

“I’d love to see the se­cond gen­er­a­tion of a fam­ily mak­ing a suc­cess of it here.

“I think it’s im­por­tant for them to go away and get that ex­pe­ri­ence in the out­side world but then it’s great to have them want­ing to come back.

“There are more and more peo­ple like that now.”

The award is named after found­ing direc­tor of the Kar­ratha Col­lege, Al Walk­ing­ton.

Kar­ratha Col­lege is now North Re­gional TAFE.

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