72 young innovators awarded scholarships through Westpac Scholars Trust

Westpac Scholars interact with large digital screen at Queensland University of Technology

Westpac Scholars Trust has awarded 72 undergraduate scholarships to students with the potential to bring big ideas to life in the areas of technology and strengthening Australia-Asia ties. This brings the total number of scholarships awarded this year to 100, representing an investment of over $4.2 million.

Amongst this year’s recipients is Eva Wu, a social entrepreneur and University of Melbourne undergraduate student who has founded two social enterprises and is looking to Asia for inspiration for her next venture.  

Through a Westpac Asian Exchange Scholarship, Eva will study for six months at Singapore Management University, chosen for its proximity to the heart of Singapore’s start-up ecosystem.

“I’m really excited about growing start-ups at a global scale. This scholarship will help me to understand the business forces and consumer trends that guide Asian markets. It will also provide a real opportunity to build a robust network of future clients, business partners and mentors.”

Andrew Cain, a Software Lead on the Mars Rover Challenge for University of Sydney and professional web developer, will undertake a semester at Shanghai Jiao Tong University. There he hopes to build on his two great passions - artificial intelligence and Mandarin.

“The Westpac Asian Exchange Scholarship will give me the opportunity to broaden my networks, develop my Mandarin, and learn from some of the leading innovators in technology, all at once. This will enable me to find mutually beneficial opportunities for both Australia and China in years to come.”

Two of the five scholarship programs offered by the Westpac Scholars Trust target undergraduate students who are eager to develop their leadership capabilities and expand their networks and knowledge to help advance Australia.

The Westpac Asian Exchange Scholarship supports those who are passionate about strengthening ties between Australia and Asia and has been awarded to 38 undergraduate students in 2019, while 34 Westpac Young Technologists Scholarships have been awarded to support individuals who hope to use technology as a lever to drive positive social change.

Amongst the 2019 Westpac Young Technologists Scholars is 18 year old Ferah Redjeb, who has just started a Bachelor of Information and Communication Technology at Western Sydney University. An ambitious and active advocate for women in STEM, Ferah runs events at her former high school to encourage more young women to consider pursuing a career in technology.

“I think it’s critical young people are exposed to STEM from the very beginning of their educational journey. My mum was a big advocate, which fuelled my interest in technology from a young age. I want others to have this opportunity,” says Ferah.

Despite the different focus areas, all Westpac Scholars share a similar set of attributes.

According to Westpac Scholars Trust CEO Susan Bannigan: “Westpac Scholars are not your everyday people. They are tomorrow’s leaders, thinkers, innovators and pioneers – people from all walks of life who are united by their generosity of spirit and driven by a desire to shape a better future.”

“Whether it is a passion for Asia or technology, our scholarship programs are designed to empower and inspire the next generation of young leaders. We work closely with our university partners to create unique learning experiences that will help these young adults thrive,” says Susan. 

Beyond the financial investment of the scholarship, Westpac Scholars gain lifelong access to the Westpac 100 Scholars Network. Growing by 100 scholars a year across the Westpac Scholars Trust’s five scholarship programs, the network connects a community of people from all walks of life with the ideas and drive to help shape a better future for all Australians.

“The Westpac 100 Scholars Network is proving to be a powerful differentiator for our Scholarship Program. With lifelong access to professional development and unlimited networking opportunities, scholars have the power to transform big ideas into real solutions.” continues Susan.

To learn more about the 100 Westpac Scholars from 2019 visit the Westpac Scholars Directory

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