Westpac Bicentennial Foundation today announced the next 35 first year undergraduate students to be awarded a technology scholarship to help strengthen Australia's pool of local talent and support a growing cohort of technology-literate future leaders.
Valued at up to $25,000, the Westpac Young Technologists Scholarship is offered in partnership with 11 universities across Australia to drive greater gender and socio-economic diversity in the industry. It provides financial support as well as real world work experience, networking and development opportunities to students from all backgrounds who are passionate about technology and innovation.
Susan Bannigan, CEO of Westpac Bicentennial Foundation, said: “The Westpac Young Technologists Scholarship attracts young people from all walks of life, providing them with access to networks and practical learning experiences to help fast track their growth and development as tomorrow’s technology innovators.”
All 35 recipients will have the opportunity to apply for Westpac’s summer and winter technology internship programs. They will also gain lifelong membership to the Westpac 100 Scholars Network. Growing by 100 scholars every year, forever, this network is designed to create opportunities for like-minded individuals to connect and collaborate to solve some of Australia’s biggest problems.
“Collectively these 35 young innovators have an incredible capacity to create meaningful change. Amongst them we have an award winning app designer passionate about increasing the number of women in technology; a young man with cerebral palsy who is looking at ways to use technology to make life easier for those who have a disability; and a bilingual first generation Australian student who wants to use to technology to help people living in rural hardship.”
Sydney scholarship recipient Imogen Low is studying a Bachelor of Science (Information Technology) and Bachelor of Creative Intelligence and Innovation at the University of Technology with the help of the Westpac Scholarship.
Imogen has won a number of national awards for her innovative app Elevator, which helps students navigate her former high school campus. In 2017 she represented Australia at the Asia Pacific ICT Alliance Awards where she came second in the student category. A passionate advocate for young women in technology, Imogen believes promoting innovation is the key to attracting more females to the industry.
“Technology is a powerful tool to help solve society's biggest problems. I believe that by promoting the industry for its innovative potential, we can inspire greater interest in women to enter the field.
“I couldn’t feel more privileged to be awarded such a prestigious scholarship. This will provide me with a unique opportunity to immerse myself in an ever-growing network of inspirational people that can facilitate my growth as an individual,” said Imogen.
Amongst the 2018 Westpac Young Technologists Scholars, over 50% are female, supporting Westpac’s focus on encouraging more women to consider a career in technology.
“The Westpac Young Technologists Scholarship is just one element of Westpac’s extensive STEM advocacy program designed to encourage more high school and university students to consider a career in technology,” continued Susan.
“The future of work is going to be driven by technology so it’s critical we invest in young, innovative Australians to help build a strong pipeline of talent in the industry for years to come.”
For Tasmanian recipient Lachlan Gower, this scholarship is a game changer. Moving to several different locations around the country as he grew up, one of his constants was his passion for technology. With a dream to study software engineering at RMIT, this has now been made possible through a Westpac Young Technology Scholarship.
“This was my plan A, there was no plan B. Technology is the future, collaborating and improving technology further will make the world a better place. I’m really excited about being part of the Westpac Scholars network to connect with like-minded people and explore new opportunities.”
The Westpac Young Technologists Scholarship is one of five scholarships offered through Westpac Bicentennial Foundation. The foundation awarded its 300th scholar this year.
Find out more, visit the Westpac Young Technologist Scholarship webpage.
Published 16 April 2018