The University of Newcastle, Australia

The story behind the 2018 recipient of the Paul Munro Shaping Futures Scholarship in Visual Arts

Thursday, 26 July 2018

The remarkable story of Gavin, recipient of the 2018 Paul Munro Shaping Futures Scholarship in Visual Arts

Gavin, Bachelor of Fine Arts student, was awarded the 2018 Paul Munro Shaping Futures Scholarship in Visual Arts. An incredibly worthy recipient, Gavin’s story is one of resilience, determination and strength.

Gavin first enrolled in his degree in 2014, while also working in the construction industry. His studies were greatly impacted as the result of a workplace accident.

“My journey into creative studies and practice began through suffering a severe work place accident. This incident left me with permanent injuries and resulted in 5 major surgeries in a space of 5 years to my groin and hip.”

Despite lengthy recovery times, Gavin continued with his studies at the University. During this time he underwent more surgeries. “Although I remained bed ridden for a lengthy period of time due to the surgeries and recovery I managed to submit all but 1 piece of work for assessment.”

With the upcoming birth of his son, Gavin decided to pause his degree and return to his studies at a more suitable time. He returned to full-time employment in order to provide for his now growing family. It was during this time that Gavin was involved in another workplace accident rendering him unable to work.

In 2017 Gavin decided to return to his studies in the face of many personal hardships.

“…all of the above mentioned have taken a great toll on me mentally, physically, emotionally and spiritually. At this point in time I am determined to complete my Fine Arts degree this year with the continued vigour and academic standards I have set thus far, albeit as challenging as it may seem.”

Gavin has worked hard at his studies and this effort has been rewarded with him receiving first prize in “Sculpture in the Vineyards” for his University major work. Gavin was also commissioned to sculpt and install a major piece for the Lake Macquarie City Art Gallery for their recent Living Sculptures Exhibition “Guardians”.

The funds from the Paul Munro Shaping Futures Scholarship in Visual Arts will greatly assist him in achieving his goal to complete his degree this year.


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