A pair of University of Newcastle students have become the inaugural recipients of Hunter Water’s recently created Indigenous scholarships.
The two recipients, Jack Roberts and Tahleigha Compton, will benefit from financial assistance during their studies to help achieve their educational aspirations.
Mr Roberts, who is in the first year of a bachelor of commerce degree, received the Hunter Water Indigenous Scholarship, which offers a total benefit of $22,500 over three years.
He has plans of excelling in the business world after his degree and hopes to set an example for others to follow.
“I hope to one day give back to others by speaking at rural schools and explaining that being at a disadvantage doesn’t have to be a hindrance, it can be a driver of determination,” he said.
Likewise, Tahleigha Compton, who was awarded the Hunter Water Indigenous Community Leadership Scholarship, hopes to give back. Her scholarship offers a benefit of $7,500 each year for up to three years to a student who is committed to making a difference in their community.
“As a fourth year Business student I have spent the last three years with a book, pen and the facilities of the library,” she said.
“This scholarship has given me the privilege to buy my own laptop, which gives me the opportunity to study and work on assignments from anywhere.”
Head of philanthropic programs at the university, Brad Holmes, said: “the generous philanthropic support received from Hunter Water has created scholarships that will change lives, bringing new talent and ideas to our community.”
Parliamentary Secretary for the Hunter, Scot MacDonald, said the scholarships mark the start of an ongoing working relationship between Hunter Water and the students.
“I’m really pleased Hunter Water is able to offer this support, not only financially, but also through paid on-the-job training which could potentially open the door to future employment for these scholars,” Mr MacDonald said.
A third scholarship, the Undergraduate Disability Scholarship, was awarded to social science and law student, Joseph Popov.
Hunter Water’s managing director Jim Bentley said the organisation was proud to play a role in helping students achieve their educational goals.
“We are continually striving to be a more diverse and inclusive workplace, and we want to do everything we possibly can to assist in providing equal opportunities for all members of our community,” he said.