The late Emeritus Professor John Love, whom you may have known, established the Love Scholarships during his lifetime. The Love Scholarships offer a helping hand to students who have faced life circumstances that pose a serious and sustained challenge to their ability to participate in university studies. This is a flagship scholarship program at ANU, promoting and supporting equity and diversity at the University.
It's not often we see someone's legacy have so profound an impact in such a short space of time. Since they were first awarded in 2016, the Love Scholarships have done just that. Professor Love's legacy has been hugely important for Elijah Smith, a 2020 recipient. Elijah wanted to share his gratitude for this transformative experience. He says it better than we ever could, so here he is, in his own words.
My name is Elijah Smith, and I'm from a small regional town called Freeling, 15 minutes from the Barossa Valley region. As you can imagine, moving to Canberra was the greatest change in my life so far. Nonetheless, the move has given me many more opportunities and friendships that I otherwise would not have experienced. I am studying a Bachelor of Public Policy and hope to pursue a career in social policy after I graduate.
From my first day at ANU, I was immersed in a culture of friendship at Davey Lodge, where I reside. The group we have formed is one of welcoming spirit and kindness, like nothing I have seen before. I truly know that these are the friends I will keep for life. I have also immersed myself in the ANU community by joining a number of societies.
I would like to share with you my circumstance and why this scholarship means so much to me. Financial pressures have been part of my life since I can remember. I learnt to respect the limited resources I had, and make the most of every cent. Moving to ANU with this burden of financial insecurity was my main concern before receiving the Love Scholarship. Now, I have peace of mind knowing that I have a secure financial circumstance that can support my studies.
I was also a carer for my father after he had a stroke whilst I was in high school. This experience and learning curve has served as the bedrock of my maturity and emotional capabilities. I have taken the skills that I have developed and transferred them to my everyday life. I have made from the circumstance what I could and believe I have made myself better because of it.
I am greatly humbled and honoured to receive the Love Scholarship, and incredibly grateful for the generosity of donors. I hope as I progress through my studies, this award will allow me to highlight the voices that feel silent, because if a regional lifestyle has taught me anything, it is that we are better together than we are apart.