Future Leader’s scholarship helps students further their education

16 December 2015

Two students have won prestigious scholarships to do post graduate studies at ANU.

Alexandra Schumann-Gillett and Tessa Henwood-Mitchell have been named 2016 Westpac Future Leaders Scholarships recipients.

The scholarship will allow Ms Schumann-Gillett, who has been working as a research assistant in the O'Mara group in the ANU Research School of Chemistry, to start her PhD studies in this group in January 2016.

In her PhD Ms Schumann-Gillett will use computer models to look at how "off fats" in brain cells lead to Alzheimer's disease.

"I chose ANU for several reasons. Firstly, ANU does not seem to shy away from addressing gender equity issues," Ms Schumann-Gillett said.

"During my PhD, I will be working with the Rita Cornforth Fellow, Dr Megan O'Mara. It will be a privilege to work with the recipient of a gender equity fellowship inspired by Australia's pre-eminent female chemist."

Ms Henwood-Mitchell founded TIA, a non-profit organisation that works with young people exiting the state care system in Bolivia, South America. She will use the scholarship to build on the knowledge and experience she has gained over the past seven years.

"I searched far and wide to find a Masters program and a university that aligned with my interests and fulfilled my expectations, and after looking at many universities worldwide I found the Masters of Applied Anthropology and Participatory Development at ANU," Ms Henwood-Mitchell said.

"The scholarship will enable me to go to Portugal for a conference on International Development in July 2016 and then go on to India, Nepal, Sri Lanka and Indonesia to do some research into the situation of young people in state care in those countries, exploring the potential for us to expand our work." 

The scholarship will cover the cost of study, along with global experience opportunities, and a nine-month leadership development program, created in conjunction with the Australian Graduate School of Management.

Susan Bannigan CEO of the Westpac Bicentennial Foundation said of the 17 Scholarship recipients, almost all of them share a common goal - to create a better Australia for all of us.

"We have attracted a group of individuals who see the value in further education to increase their potential to make a difference," said Ms Bannigan.

"This reinforces the very reason why Westpac chose to invest such a significant amount in education when we launched the Foundation."

ANU, along with 19 other Australian universities, has partnered with The Westpac Bicentennial Foundation to deliver The Westpac Scholarship Program. This partnership will enable scholars to develop into leaders, innovators and pioneers to shape the future prosperity and growth of Australia. The Future Leaders Scholarship is valued up to $120,000 over 2-3 years and awarded to postgraduate students at across eight universities, including ANU. Scholars will participate in the Leadership Development Program and will have the opportunity to access global experiences tailored to their specialist areas for up to six months.

The full list of Future Leaders Scholars is available on the Westpac website.

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