Amid global uncertainty, Rural Bank identifies next generation of Agri-leaders
A substantial boost to aid the transition to tertiary study has been provided to 19 well-deserving regional and rural students through Rural Bank’s annual Scholarship Program.
Rural Bank has awarded the first-time undergraduate students $5,000 to assist students with the commencement of their studies including course costs, study materials and equipment.
Students are facing unprecedented challenges this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic, including undertaking online learning and loss of casual work.
The scholarship program provides students with financial support to help them thrive in their chosen field of study, at institutions across Australia.
The scholarship recipients, who are undertaking courses in agricultural sciences, veterinary sciences, biology, health science, business and engineering, will ensure the future prosperity of Australia’s agricultural sector.
This year’s recipients are made up of 14 females and five males from regional and rural communities in Queensland, South Australia, New South Wales, Western Australia and Victoria.
Local student Libby Falkiner from Freshwater Creek has been selected as one of 19 Rural Bank Scholarship recipients who will receive financial support to the value of $5,000, to help kick-start their careers in the agriculture sector.
Libby grew up on a broadacre mixed farm in Victoria which housed an outdoor piggery, cattle stud and a self-replacing prime lamb flock.
She was influenced by her grandfather Henry Hopkins (a Nuffield Scholar) and her father Simon Falkiner (Runner Up Bob Hawke National Landcare Award 2018) who taught her the importance of utilising education to make a difference.
Witnessing the cutting edge of veterinary science, such as IVF conception and stem cell therapy, inspired Libby to enrol in a Bachelor of Veterinary Biology/Science at Charles Sturt University.
She has a strong understanding of the commercial implications of animal welfare and sustainability, having seen sales soar after the business’ outdoor piggery became RSPCA approved.
A number of scholarship recipients are from families and communities that have been affected by the devastation caused by drought and the bushfire crisis.
Alexandra Gartmann, CEO of Rural Bank said that supporting the next generation of regional and rural leaders is an ongoing commitment the bank is proud to continue.
“Rural Bank’s ability to support young regional and rural Australians is more important now than it has ever been,” Ms Gartmann said.
“The prolonged drought and devastating summer bushfires reinforce why this program is so vital.
“These scholarships are an important step towards easing the financial strain many families feel when a member of the family begins tertiary study.
“I look forward to seeing how they will invest their capabilities to grow our agricultural sector.”