Central Coast awards night celebrates student success and champions innovation

Central Coast Awards Night

07 August 2014

Academic excellence and local innovation was recognised and celebrated at the annual (UON) Central Coast campus and Hunter TAFE scholarship and awards night on Wednesday 6 August.

CC AWARDS Shaping FuturesAmong this year's recipients was University of Newcastle student Courtney McGregor who was awarded the inaugural Blinkmobile Innovation Research Higher Degree Top Up Scholarship; and Hunter TAFE student Samantha Wilson-Brown who received the 2014 Bean Counters Pathway Scholarship.

The awards night highlights the strong partnerships UON Central Coast campus and Hunter TAFE have established with the local community and business to enable higher education opportunities in the region.

UON Vice-Chancellor, Professor Caroline McMillen, said this year the scholarships, in addition to providing more students with access to world-class education, would also champion innovation in the region.

"The introduction of the inaugural Blinkmobile Innovation Research Higher Degree Top Up Scholarship will support a student to undertake a research Master or PhD postgraduate in Business Innovation Management," Professor McMillen said.

"UON encourages the translation of research into innovative solutions and collaborative partnerships to contribute to community change. This year's recipient is investigating how local innovation champions can lead to innovation capacity in social enterprises on the Central Coast."

Hunter TAFE Deputy CEO, Christine Warrington, said the event recognised students' achievements and the impact strong community and business partnerships can have to enable greater pathways to education.  

"The generosity of the region is instrumental in ensuring the success of local students, and provides students from all backgrounds the opportunity to pursue and succeed in higher education," Ms Warrington said.

The awards night is a celebration of education excellence on the Central Coast and is supported strongly by the local community and businesses, including Delta Electricity which has been a major sponsor since 2001 and funds more than 60 scholarships for local students.

CEREMONY HIGHLIGHTS

Blinkmobile Innovation Research Higher Degree Top Up Scholarship

Courtney McGregor is the recipient of the Blinkmobile Innovation Research Higher Degree Top Up Scholarship. Ms McGregor finished Bachelor of Management with first class honours in 2006 and is currently a UON tutor in e-marketing. 

She is also currently completing a PhD investigating innovation champions in social enterprises on the Central Coast to understand how they can contribute to local organisations to enhance their innovative capacity in the community. 

2014 Bean Counters Pathway Scholarship

A determined young mother and local Hunter TAFE student Samantha Wilson-Brown will be awarded the 2014 Bean Counters Pathway Scholarship.

She is currently study a Certificate IV in Accounting at Hunter TAFE Ourimbah campus.  

"My career goal for the future is to complete the Associate Degree in Accounting at Hunter TAFE and I would like to work towards a permanent, sustainable and rewarding pathway," Ms Wilson-Brown said."The Bean Counters Pathway Scholarship will provide me with tremendous support and will benefit myself and my family immensely."

Julia Gallagher – 2014 Shaping Futures Scholar

Central Coast student Julia Gallagher is one of the talented students recognised at the Central Coast awards night.

Julia, from Terrigal, is studying is studying a Bachelor of Podiatry at the Central Coast campus. She is one of the winners of the Shaping Futures Scholarship, which is funded entirely by donations from the public.

Julia has had a number of health and carer challenges in her life, including living with Myeloid Leukaemia, which requires frequent chemotherapy treatments.

"This scholarship will help me fulfil my dream of obtaining an education. I want to leave a legacy to my children and make them understand that education means empowerment, independence and equality."

Julia's scholarship is funded through the Shaping Futures Scholarship Appeal which help academically gifted students who are facing challenges – those students 'most in need'. 120 very generous people, businesses and community groups donated to last year's appeal – which has funded 10 scholarships this year.

John Chileshe – 2014 Shaping Futures Scholar 

West Gosford student John Chileshe is another of 2014 Shaping Futures Scholarship recipients. These scholarships are funded entirely by donations from the community, alumni and university staff.

Originally from Zambia, John is one of 10 children. He's the first in his family to attend university. He missed much of his schooling in Africa due to being hospitalised on a number of occasions with malaria. The Shaping Futures Scholarship will help John to realise his dream to become a nurse.

"The skills I am learning in my studies will permit me to make a difference in my life. I also want to be a role model to my siblings and most importantly make this world a better place through my nursing career," John said. 

John's scholarship is funded through the Shaping Futures Scholarship Appeal, which helps academically gifted students who are facing challenges – those students 'most in need'. 120 very generous people, businesses and community groups donated to last year's appeal – which has funded 10 scholarships this year.

The University's 2014 Shaping Futures Appeal has just kicked off. To donate or to find out more visit www.newcastle.edu.au/shaping-futures-appeal

Contact: Media and Public Relations.
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Contact Email: media@newcastle.edu.au