From a very young age I had a passion for native vegetation and all things green. In 2008 I was very excited to be offered a position at The Australian National University to study a Bachelor of Science (Forestry), as it gave me the opportunity to get practical, sustainable and environmental-based knowledge to take out into the world.
Growing up in a regional area, I knew it was going to be tough to make the transition to university. Moving away from home for the first time was difficult, but being awarded the Anthony and Barbara Brookman Scholarship made a huge difference to my experience. The financial support gave me the opportunity to live on campus at Burgmann College so I could focus on my studies. It also gave me the freedom to take part in other campus activities like sitting on the committee of the Fenner School of Environment, participating in forestry fire pits and attending the annual dinner for the Institute of Foresters of Australia.
Studying in Australia's capital has given me the privilege of receiving guest lectures from a number of public sector professionals and international scholars. The most exciting thing about studying forestry at ANU was the ability to discuss silviculture and forest management in the classroom in the morning and then experience the theories learnt through afternoon field trips to Black Mountain or weekend field trips to the South Coast, Tumut and even Tasmania.
I feel extremely fortunate to have received the Anthony and Barbara Brookman Scholarship. The Forestry degree is now one of the smallest courses offered at ANU, and to know that there is still support for it and that other people feel as passionate as I do about forestry is a very uplifting feeling.
The opportunity to attend ANU has allowed me to learn so much in an industry that I hope I can really make a difference. As climate change research continues to develop and evolve, I have had the opportunity to be at the forefront of new research, learning something interesting and exciting each day. After ANU I am hoping to enter into fire management and work in some of the most fire prone areas of the world, where I can help to protect the community, forest assets and ecosystems.
"To know that someone you have never met before supports you is a powerful motivator and has allowed me to excel at and enjoy my studies. Thank you to all the donors who allowed me to reach my potential and for inspiring me to help others in the community."