Kyabram Free Press

Ky woman lands $20k

- By Caitlin Cassidy

A Kyabram woman currently studying at La Trobe University has been awarded a $20,000 tertiary scholarshi­p from the Australian Rail Track Corporatio­n, with the hopes the funding will encourage her to "give back" to her community.

Providing students with support to build interperso­nal skills, job readiness and health and wellbeing, the scholarshi­ps aim to ensure all students complete their degrees by filling a financial gap in regional areas.

La Trobe Bendigo student Kasey Watson was one of four students to be awarded the scholarshi­p, open to any La Trobe students who lived nearby the ARTC Inland Rail project alignment.

Valued at $5000 for each year of undergradu­ate study, Ms Watson will use the money to complete her Bachelor of Nursing and Midwifery degree.

“We’re supporting students in regional areas because the cost of going to university and living away from home can be out of reach for some students who may be experienci­ng financial hardship or family pressures,” Federal Member for Nicholls Damian Drum said.

“Students need to be supported and encouraged to stay in their community to study and work, rather than having to move away in the hope they’ll one day return.

“Scholarshi­ps like this offer that level of support to help keep local people in their home towns once they leave school and look to begin their careers.”

Among the awardees were Bundalong man Tyler Barnes and Bendigo women Renee Smith and Evelyn Gibbons.

Inland Rail planning, communicat­ions and stakeholde­r relations director Rebecca Pickering hoped the scholarshi­ps would allow students to "give back" to their communitie­s.

“These scholarshi­ps, and any employment opportunit­ies they unlock, will act as a catalyst for positive change in many regional communitie­s,” Ms said.

“What we have heard from previous recipients is they plan to use the Inland Rail scholarshi­p to fill existing gaps in their fields in regional Victoria.”

La Trobe University deputy vice-chancellor Richard Speed thanked ARTC for supporting the scholarshi­p recipients.

“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 on regional and rural communitie­s.”

The program is a partnershi­p between ARTC’S Inland Rail Skills Academy and three regional universiti­es.

Pickering

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