Central Coast students and supporters celebrated during Scholars' Week
A Central Coast campus student who suffered burns to 45 per cent of her body in a horrific accident last year is one of 65 students being recognised tomorrow at the Central Coast campus awards night.
Thirty-year-old Hayley Watson was injured in an explosion at her home, placed in an induced coma for a week and underwent major skin graft surgery.
Ms Watson, who will receive a Shaping Futures Scholarship funded by donations, credits her studies as the shining light that helped her stay focused on recovering.
“I love studying and I did not consider dropping out but the financial pressure combined with the anxiety and pain from the accident has made life very difficult,” she said.
“The scholarship means I have fewer things to worry about. I am so lucky there are such thoughtful, genuinely good people out there supporting students like me.”
Sarah Fletcher is a high-achieving mother of three nearing the end of her degree in primary teaching with a raft of high distinctions and distinctions. Ms Fletcher will receive one of two inaugural Singapore Alumni Scholarships worth $4,000. The scholarships are donated by Singaporeans who studied at the University and are for academically gifted students facing hardship.
“The scholarship is a relief and makes juggling family with study a lot easier. I can buy stationery, textbooks and even afford some additional childcare,” she said.
Psychology student, Selina Chapman, is being awarded the Central Coast Campus Friends Student Award for academic achievement. She maintains consistently high marks while volunteering as a Lifeline crisis telephone counsellor, President of the Ourimbah Psychology Society and as a student mentor for Campus Central, the Ourimbah students’ association.
Ms Chapman hopes to complete postgraduate studies and work as a counselling psychologist on the Central Coast.
The three students will receive their awards tomorrow night at a joint University and TAFE NSW – Central Coast Campuses event during the University’s Scholars’ Week, which recognises students receiving scholarships and prizes and thanks the supporters who provide them. A range of scholarships and prizes will recognise academic excellence, sporting talent, artistic and musical abilities.
This year 1,500 scholarships worth $5 million are being awarded to University students. Among these are 200 funded by donations.
Pro Vice-Chancellor Central Coast, Professor Stephen Crump, said donations and sponsorships were invaluable.
“Business, industry and community organisations are integral to the growth and development of this campus. They also recognise our students and link them to the local community.”
Other scholarships being awarded on the night include the Edith and Joseph McBride Scholarship, which supports a nursing student studying at the Central Coast campus and four scholarships funded by Delta Electricity specifically for Central Coast students, including one for an Indigenous student.
Anyone wishing to establish or contribute to a scholarship for Central Coast students can contact the University of Newcastle Foundation on 02 4921 7453 or visit www.newcastle.edu.au/foundation.
Photo opportunity: The Scholarships and Awards night will take place from 6pm, Wednesday 23 May, at Lecture Theatre 1 on the Central Coast campus, Chittaway Road, Ourimbah.
About the University of Newcastle Foundation:
The Foundation is the platform for philanthropic support for the University of Newcastle. Donations help fund student scholarships, academic positions and research.
Media contact: Benieke Treverton, University of Newcastle Foundation on 02 4985 4178 or 0404 624 969.