Schol­ar­ships se­cure trip of a life­time

Pilbara News - - News - Ali­cia Per­era

A group of Kar­ratha stu­dents are about to set sail on the trip of a life­time af­ter win­ning this year’s round of lo­cal Leeuwin Ocean Ad­ven­ture Foun­da­tion schol­ar­ships.

Eigh­teen stu­dents from Kar­ratha Se­nior High School and St Luke’s Col­lege have been cho­sen for week-long trips aboard 19th cen­tury tall ship the STS Leeuwin II, and re­ceived their ac­cep­tance cer­tifi­cates at a pre­sen­ta­tion ear­lier this month.

The schol­ar­ships are funded by the Kar­ratha Ed­u­ca­tion Ini­tia­tive through the Wood­side-op­er­ated North West Shelf Project.

Stu­dents were selected based on con­tribut­ing hours of ser­vice to their lo­cal com­mu­nity, and St Luke’s Col­lege stu­dent Chris­tine Zac­cheus, 16, was named the win­ner of the out­stand­ing com­mu­nity ser­vice award.

Kar­ratha Se­nior High School prin­ci­pal Jen­nifer McMa­hon said the range and amount of com­mu­nity ser­vice work had been “out­stand­ing”. St Luke’s Col­lege prin­ci­pal Alanna Ot­way said she had seen how much of a dif­fer­ence the Leeuwin trips could make to stu­dents.

“They gen­er­ally speak about it be­ing quite life-chang­ing,” she said.

“They talk about the chal­lenges, that they of­ten didn’t think they had it in them, be­cause there is al­ways ad­ver­sity.”

“The com­forts of home aren’t nec­es­sar­ily there, so they need to step so far out of their com­fort zone.”

Ms Ot­way said trips aboard the Leeuwin were highly re­garded by em­ploy­ers and com­mu­nity groups but cost was of­ten an is­sue for young peo­ple in the coun­try, mak­ing the KEI’s sup­port es­pe­cially valu­able.

KEI rep­re­sen­ta­tive and Wood­side en­gi­neer Narelle Dale said the Leeuwin schol­ar­ship ex­pe­ri­ence was a good train­ing ground for fu­ture work­ers in the in­dus­try.

“Di­verse think­ing and work­ing in a team are things that in­dus­tries like Wood­side value for our fu­ture em­ploy­ees, so we want to grow a strong com­mu­nity with peo­ple with those sorts of skills for fu­ture em­ploy­ers, for com­pa­nies like us,” she said.

The Kar­ratha stu­dents can choose to sail on one of two trips avail­able be­tween now and De­cem­ber.

The 2017 Kar­ratha win­ners of the Leeuwin Ocean Ad­ven­ture Foun­da­tion's youth ex­plorer voy­age schol­ar­ships. Pic­ture: Ali­cia Per­era

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