Eliza Cowley, from Goondiwindi Queensland, and Aiden Matson, from Albany in Western Australia, are the 2018 recipients of the Northrop Grumman, ViaSat and Optus Country Scholarship for Burgmann College. The students will receive AU$10,500 per year for three years to assist with accommodation expenses at Burgmann College.
"Supporting students who are under-represented in STEM disciplines, particularly young women from regional and rural areas, is an important step towards improving diversity and ultimately benefiting society as a whole - and it's what makes this scholarship so important," says ANU Provost, Professor Mike Calford.
"Scholarships such as this are integral to ensuring the next generation of scientists, mathematicians and engineers have every opportunity to reach their potential."
Eliza is pursuing her interest in medicine and desire to help others through a bachelor of health science degree. Her family owns a farm in Goondiwindi, where they grow wheat, barley and chick peas as well as raise sheep. She ranked first in her high school cohort in biology, and hopes to obtain a degree in medicine at ANU.
Aiden is studying a bachelor of engineering degree (honours) and says that, for as long as he can remember, he has been a 'tinkerer' who has enjoyed woodworking in his father's workshop since he was a child. In addition to focusing on his studies, he looks forward to collaborating with peers and networking with the industry leaders of the future.
This scholarship aims to improve access to tertiary education for students who come from rural and regional areas, and is open to those who wish to study in a STEM field at ANU. Preference is given to female applicants.