The University of Newcastle, Australia

2018 Scholars

2018 scholarship recipients

Ma and Morley inaugural scholar, Pheobe McIlwraith

Phoebe McIlwraith

Halekulani, Central Coast NSW 
Bachelor of Business / Bachelor of Laws (Honours)
Scholarship Category: Indigenous

Phoebe, a proud Bundjalung and Worimi saltwater woman, has a vision. A social enterprise that engages with marginalised peoples and enables meaningful change through community-based economies.

Learn more about Phoebe

Ma & Morley inaugural scholar, Odette Brown

Odette Brown

Hamilton, Newcastle NSW 
Bachelor of Aboriginal Professional Practice / Bachelor of Laws (Honours)
Scholarship Category: Immersion

As a Wiradjuri woman, Odette’s style of leadership is rooted in her deep sense of community, culture and connection to Country. Odette is in her third year of a combined degree, studying a Bachelor of Aboriginal Professional Practice / Bachelor of Laws (Honours). During her time at the University, Odette has been an active part of the student community. She helped establish the UON Indigenous Student Collective to support Indigenous students. She also managed events and social media platforms to address issues of injustice, strengthen relationships, and build community for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people living and studying off-Country. Driven by her passion for inclusivity, Women’s Business and cultural continuation, Odette also helped in establishing the Women’s Group, a safe space for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women to come together.

Ma & Morley Scholar, Gidail Bakini

Gidail Bakini

Cowra, Central West NSW 
Bachelor of Construction Management (Building) (Honours)
Scholarship Category: Educational Disadvantage

Gidail believes diversity is humanity’s greatest strength. As a boy, Gidail left his home and much of his family in Khartoum, Sudan to seek refuge in Australia. A world away in Cowra, Central West NSW, Gidail began dedicating time to making his new community better. He has been actively involved in the White Ribbon Day campaign against domestic violence, lead peer support groups at his high school, and acted as a mentor for young staff at a local business where he worked. Currently undertaking a Bachelor of Construction Management (Honours), Gidail looks forward to continuing his leadership journey and making a meaningful impact on the world around him.

Ma & Morley scholar, Luisa Amosa

Luisa Amosa

Broadmeadow, Newcastle NSW 
Bachelor of Law / Development Studies
Scholarship Category: Educational Disadvantage

With a passion for the arts and youth advocacy, Luisa has established herself as a leader among her peers. While studying at the Hunter School of Performing Arts, Luisa spearheaded social justice campaigns, raising community awareness of the importance of diversity and acceptance.

Learn more about Luisa

Ma & Morley scholar, Nathaniel Arnold

Nathaniel Arnold

Smithton, North West TAS Bachelor of Education (Secondary)
Scholarship Category: Academic Excellence
Enabling Pathway: Open Foundation

Having spent time living in Uganda with his family as a child, Nathaniel’s sense of social responsibility developed early. Following a return trip in mid-2015, Nathaniel independently raised funds to support a local Ugandan community to build a new school from the ground up, providing education for 200 students. He believes helping those less fortunate, especially in developing countries, is both his responsibility and his privilege. Moving from a small, rural town in north-west Tasmania to complete the University’s Intensive Open Foundation course in 2017 was the start of a new chapter for Nathaniel. He is now studying to become a teacher of English as a second language and hopes to empower more people – especially those of diverse cultural backgrounds – to overcome disadvantage.

Academic Excellence scholars

Ma & Morley Scholar Elijah Lynch

Minnie Waters, Northern NSW
Bachelor of Engineering (Honours) (Environmental)
Scholarship Category: Academic Excellence

A passionate environmentalist, Elijah grew up in the hinterland of northern NSW. He is inspired by leaders like Barack Obama, Nelson Mandela and Peter Garrett – as well as leaders in his local community. Elijah is a committed volunteer with his local surf lifesaving club and is dedicated to keeping the beaches in his community clean and safe. He has travelled to Indonesia, Sri Lanka and New Zealand and hopes to expand his global connections as a Ma & Morley Scholar. An aspiring environmental engineer, Elijah plans to continue his environmental advocacy work into the future.

Ma & Morley Scholar James O'Sullivan

Newcastle, NSW
Bachelor of Business / Bachelor of Innovation and Entrepreneurship
Scholarship Category: Academic Excellence
Enabling Pathway: Open Foundation

Through innovative thinking and leadership, James hopes to motivate and inspire others to create positive change in the world. A mature age student, James’s career redirection has been driven by a desire to rectify unsustainable business practices and injustices in society. James volunteers for a number of local initiatives to support the homeless, and recently began working on an initiative called ‘Piece by Piece’, using social media to encourage Novocastrians to stop rubbish from entering our oceans.

Ma & Morley Scholar, Grace Roberts

Beecroft, Sydney NSW
Bachelor of Biomedical Science
Scholarship Category: Academic Excellence

Grace believes it’s only through understanding others that we can hope to change ourselves, and take responsibility for our world. At school, she dedicated her time to coordinating student activities, fundraising and community-building. Currently undertaking a Bachelor of Biomedical Science, Grace’s recent experience on placement at a hospital in the Dominican Republic offered important insight into the challenges of delivering effective healthcare in developing nations. Grace draws inspiration from leaders with great integrity and social responsibility like international eye surgeon Dr Sandruk Ruik, and hopes to pursue a career serving people in countries with a great need for healthcare expertise.

Ma & Morley Scholar, Joshua Walker

Buff Point, Central Coast NSW
Bachelor of Education (Secondary)
Scholarship Category: Academic Excellence
Enabling Pathway: Newstep

A Bachelor of Education student, Joshua’s path to teaching has been influenced by his family values of perseverance and equity in education, and passion for environmental conservation. He is a regular volunteer with Wildlife Arc, an animal rescue and care society on the Central Coast which supports the rehabilitation of threatened or injured native wildlife species. He has helped Wildlife Arc reintroduce hundreds of flying foxes to the ecosystem by preparing fruit to feed animals in care. Working with flying foxes has helped Joshua to better understand the impact of various environmental problems (such as deforestation and culling) and motivated him to promote the value of conserving these long-distance pollinators as a climate change priority. He sees teaching as a means to communicate environmental conservation principles, and empower others to contribute to positive global change.

Ma & Morley Scholar, Georgia Young

Killarney Vale, Central Coast NSW
Bachelor of Social Work (Honours)
Scholarship Category: Academic Excellence
Enabling Pathway: Open Foundation

Georgia Young is inspired to pursue a career in social work through her personal experiences, her passion for supporting others to reach their goals, and her experience volunteering and working with people with intellectual and physical disabilities. In all her positions she has demonstrated her ability to create positive experiences for social integration. Georgia understands the values of friendship and equity in education, and believes that every person can shine with individualised assistance. She is motivated to create positive change, which she believes can build a larger social movement. Georgia has a strong desire to help young people develop to their full potential.

Educational Disadvantage scholars

Ma & Morley Scholar Brittany Ayers

Maryland, Newcastle NSW
Bachelor of Social Science / Bachelor of Laws (Honours)
Scholarship Category: Educational Disadvantage
Enabling Pathway: Yapug

Brittany is not afraid to speak up against disadvantage. After overcoming her own challenges to enrol in the University’s Yapug program, Brittany is committed to studying a Bachelor of Social Science/Bachelor of Laws (Honours) commencing in 2018. Her determination is fuelled by her own life experience and a real desire to help others. For Brittany, being a leader means being unafraid of the truth, and being prepared to make both big and small changes to create equity and justice for all people. She is focused on change she will create as a lawyer; and the help she can offer Indigenous Australians in the legal system.

Ma & Morley Scholar Sindi Bretherton

Gorokan, Central Coast NSW
Bachelor of Nursing
Scholarship Category: Educational Disadvantage
Enabling Pathway: Open Foundation

For Sindi, learning about different cultures has been the key to unlocking her own potential as a leader. After completing many environmental and community projects as a child, Sindi expanded her global outlook by travelling the world. Working as an English teacher and surf instructor throughout Southeast Asia and Central and South America, she immersed herself in diverse social and cultural environments, and learnt to empathise with people’s differences. Whilst caring for her two children and disabled mother, Sindi has completed studies in perinatal mental health counselling for anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). After completing her studies, she hopes to work in developing countries as a nurse.

Ma & Morley Scholar Brent Cassidy

Aberdare, Hunter Valley NSW
Bachelor of Environmental Science and Management
Scholarship Category: Educational Disadvantage

Brent believes that education, experience, and above all, love can change the world. But Brent says it’s action that turns dreamers into leaders. So, as a passionate permaculturist Brent is committed to making socially and environmentally ethical consumer choices. He has also volunteered with Meals on Wheels, HNE Kids Health and The Gloucester Project. Brent has a vision to create impactful, open-source communities, and undertaking a Bachelor of Environmental Science is an important step in Brent’s journey.

Noraville, Central Coast NSW
Bachelor of Psychological Science
Scholarship Category: Educational Disadvantage

Since childhood, Rachel has dedicated her weekends to giving back to the community. Many years in the Scouts provided countless opportunities to serve others before taking up several volunteer leadership positions. More recently, Rachel has served the community through surf lifesaving – giving back hundreds of hours on beach patrol, as an emergency radio controller and surf education instructor. Her passion for helping people is underpinned by her belief that small acts make a big impact. She is currently studying Psychological Science and is interested in a career as a psychologist working with teenagers and young adults.

Ma & Morley Scholar Jessica Philbrook

Rainbow Flat, Mid-North Coast NSW
Bachelor of Arts / Bachelor of Innovation and Entrepreneurship
Scholarship Category: Educational Disadvantage

Jessica uses her voice to speak up for others who have not yet found theirs, and hopes that her actions can inspire others to redefine their perception of themselves. Helping her own family to overcome adversity has taught Jessica to embrace challenging situations and recognise that they often have the most rewarding outcomes. Jessica has played an active role in her community, volunteering with organisations like the Red Cross, Meals on Wheels, SES and RSPCA, and as a peer tutor for a ‘reader/writer’ program that aims to help teens achieve their education potential. Currently undertaking a Bachelor of Arts/Innovation and Entrepreneurship, Jessica wants her life’s work to be focused on caring for others in disadvantaged situations.

Ma & Morley Scholar Jessica Vickery

North Avoca, Central Coast NSW
Bachelor of Medical Engineering (Honours)
Scholarship Category: Educational Disadvantage
Enabling Pathway: Open Foundation

Growing up, Jessica was certain that she wanted to help people and make the world a better place. As a young social justice leader, she was twice awarded the Australian Defence Force Long Tan Leadership Award and enjoyed taking part in many advocacy and volunteering initiatives. After attempting to complete a Bachelor of Nursing despite significant health problems, Jessica made the difficult decision to change career paths. She went on to complete the Intensive Open Foundation Course at the University’s Central Coast Campus, and is now studying a Bachelor of Medical Engineering. For Jessica, the most important leadership qualities are empathy and commitment. Motivated by her own experience, she is driven to help alleviate the suffering that can be caused by illness, and to make a difference to others.

Indigenous scholars

Ma & Morley Scholar Jason Connor

North Lambton, Newcastle NSW
Bachelor of Environmental Science and Management
Scholarship Category: Indigenous

A passion to be an Indigenous leader in the fields of environmental science and marine biology motivated Jason to return to study after a ten-year break. After completing the University’s Yapug program, Jason commenced a Bachelor of Environmental Science and Land Management. Jason believes that by adapting million-year-old traditional techniques to contemporary settings, Aboriginal culture can play a major role in fostering more sustainable use of resources. His interest in preserving culture extends to his work as a volunteer in the University’s archaeological Glam X lab and as a local leader and mentor. Jason hopes to enter a cadetship with the CSIRO.

Ma & Morley Scholar Liam Hassen

East Maitland, Hunter Valley
Bachelor of Biomedical Science
Scholarship Category: Indigenous
Enabling Pathway: Open Foundation

Liam is a Biripi man with a great respect and pride for his cultural traditions and knowledge. He believes everyone deserves an opportunity to succeed, regardless of their circumstances. And whether it’s helping older people to use new technologies or assisting others in need, Liam believes in setting a positive example for his younger siblings and family. He knows his actions can inspire change. Liam is currently undertaking a Bachelor of Biomedical Science and is interested in pursuing a career in Medicine. Liam is looking forward to meeting other Ma & Morley scholars, forging personal connections, and experiencing the breadth of other opportunities the scholarship provides.

Ma & Morley Scholar Jasmin L'Green

Gloucester, Manning Valley NSW
Bachelor of Development Studies / Bachelor of Laws (Honours)
Scholarship Category: Indigenous

Jasmin is a proud Kuungkari (Con-kari) Indigenous woman. Kuungkari is located in the Carinda Region and means ‘you carry.’ Growing up in an area with coal mining developments, Jasmin experienced firsthand how issues of environmental sustainability and conservation can divide a community. To Jasmin, a globally-aware, socially-conscience leader works to preserve the environment for future generations. And by studying a combined Bachelor of Law and Development Studies, Jasmin plans to advocate for these issues on a global platform as a future human rights lawyer. She has a strong desire to address inequalities in both domestic and international communities, and to take responsibility to make a difference in the world.

Ma & Morley Scholar Georgia O'Brien

Maryland, Newcastle NSW
Bachelor of Education (Early Childhood and Primary)
Scholarship Category: Indigenous
Enabling Pathway: Yapug

Georgia is a descendant of the Wiradjuri Nation and understands the important role of leaders in maintaining community. Georgia admires people who put the needs and concerns of others before their own. She strives to do all she can to make a difference, while inspiring others to do the same. At school, Georgia showed integrity and a steadfast commitment to her own beliefs, acting as Chair of her school’s NAIDOC committee and volunteering for the Teaching in Primary Schools program. Passionate about the power of education, Georgia is now working hard to complete her Bachelor of Teaching (Early Childhood and Primary). She says her experiences have taught her she can achieve far more than she ever thought possible.

Ma & Morley Scholar Alyson Treglown

Mannering Park, Central Coast
Bachelor of Nursing
Scholarship Category: Indigenous

A descendant from Murramarang, Ulladulla, Alyson recently began her journey to connect with her Indigenous heritage. Alyson believes there is nothing more rewarding than caring for others, and her desire to be a role model for her family and give back to her community motivated Alyson to begin her Bachelor of Nursing in 2018. Alyson faces the challenges of balancing study and being a mum to her two young children head-on. She is also a full-time carer for her son, who has a condition called albinism affecting his skin, hair, eyes and making him legally blind. Somehow, Alyson makes time to coach the local netball team and volunteer as a surf lifesaver. As a Ma and Morley scholar, Alyson hopes to encourage others to follow their dreams and give back to their communities.

Immersion scholars

Ma & Morley Scholar Olivia Carroll

Newcastle, NSW
Bachelor of Biomedical Science
Scholarship Category: Immersion

A volunteer work placement in Tanzania was a turning point for Biomedical Science student Olivia. Already passionate about global health and social justice, the experience of monitoring patients in some of the most under-equipped hospitals in rural Tanzania reinforced her desire to pursue a career in global health research. A student leader and President of the Bachelor of Biomedical Science Society, Olivia has worked to establish positive social environments for younger students to work alongside older students and mentors. After her final year of undergraduate study in 2018, Olivia hopes to complete her honours and PhD at the University. She will combine her passions for medical research and global health by working in collaboration with other medical professionals around the world to overcome some of the universal challenges facing today’s society.

Ma & Morley Scholar Rosalie Connor

New Lambton, Newcastle NSW
Bachelor of Laws (Honours) / Diploma of Legal Practice
Scholarship Category: Immersion

Currently in her final year of a Bachelor of Law (Honours)/ Diploma of Legal Practice, Rosalie has developed her leadership skills through volunteering, work, and study experiences – including a semester exchange to the University of Leeds. Rosalie mentors female high school students through the University’s Empower Program, helping young women from rural and regional high schools make informed decisions about their future study and career opportunities. As President of the University of Newcastle Law Student Association (UNLSA) for 2018, she aims to help students create positive change within Newcastle through volunteering and leadership opportunities. Late last year Rosalie travelled to China to undertake practical legal training through a Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade ‘New Colombo Plan’ (NCP) grant. She is currently undertaking a legal internship at the Department of Employment in Canberra.

Ma & Morley Scholar Chezarne Cuffe

Hamilton, Newcastle NSW
Bachelor of Development Studies
Scholarship Category: Immersion

For Chezarne, undertaking a Bachelor of Development Studies majoring in Environmental Sustainability has meant a better understanding of people and their power to create change. She is passionate about restructuring agricultural processes, food distribution and the underlying power structures in agribusiness that reinforce inequalities and negatively impact planetary health. Chezarne is making positive changes at a grassroots level, with a philosophy to normalise an alternate way of production and consumption. She supports many community-led initiatives including volunteering with Feedback Organic Recovery: Urban Farming, an organisation working to reduce food waste in local restaurants by converting it to compost for use on an urban farm, ultimately providing organic produce back to the community.

Ma & Morley Scholar Kishaya Delaney

Orange, Central West NSW
Bachelor of Communication / Bachelor of Laws (Honours)
Scholarship Category: Immersion

Kishaya is a Wiradjuri women who has always been passionate about creating change. After the loss of her elder brother when she was nine, Kishaya went on to become an active ambassador for the Red Cross Blood Service, advocating for organ and blood donation, and was awarded Lions Club Youth of the Year in 2014. Kishaya has further developed her skills as a leader and global thinker while undertaking a Bachelor of Law/ Bachelor of Communication. She is part of University’s Indigenous Collective and is an Indigenous Representative of University’s Law Student Association. As a CareerTrackers ambassador, Kishaya encourages fellow Indigenous students to gain experience in the private sector throughout their degree. After studying Mandarin during a semester exchange at the University of Leeds, Kishaya is looking forward to visiting China as a Ma & Morley scholar.

Ma & Morley Scholar Joanna Fu

Putney, Sydney NSW
Bachelor of Medical Science and Doctor of Medicine
Scholarship Category: Immersion

Joanna believes that leadership is less about leading from the front and more about driving from behind. Her commitment to leadership through teamwork started during school, when she began volunteering with the St Vincent de Paul Society, where her work was recognised with the Australian Defence Force Long Tan Leadership and Teamwork Award. Joanna now volunteers with University’s global health group, of which she was recently elected Vice President. The group works with various organisations in Newcastle to help those in need, from creating birthing kits to send to developing countries, to volunteering at Zara’s House – a local service that develops safe social support networks for refugees.

Ma & Morley Scholar Thomas Levick

Hamilton, Newcastle NSW
Bachelor of Science (Honours)
Scholarship Category: Immersion

Thomas is a proud Yuwaalaraay man living on Awabakal country, and acknowledges his heritage as a key factor in the development of his values. Thomas is a campaigner who believes true leadership begins with service, which allows leaders to better understand their position and the impact of their actions. In 2017, Thomas completed an internship with The Wilderness Society, worked as Hunter Valley regional coordinator for renewable energy think-tank Beyond Zero Emissions (BZE), and stood in the Newcastle City Council elections as a Greens candidate. As a Ma & Morley scholar, Thomas aims to further connect with the community to advocate for change on environmental sustainability and biodiversity conservation.

Ma & Morley Scholar Alissa Lucas

Medowie, Port Stephens NSW
Bachelor of Laws (Honours) / Diploma of Legal Practice
Scholarship Category: Immersion

Ambitious and entrepreneurial, Alissa has always sought opportunities to extend her global outlook. She is committed to developing and nurturing relationships in Asia, and has represented the University at programs in Hong Kong, Cambodia and Japan. In 2016, Alissa participated in a legal internship at a community development organisation in Cambodia. Through this, Alissa developed a clearer understanding of how western organisations can help empower local communities in developing countries to thrive with autonomy, rather than dependence. Alissa is interested in the power of work and education to improve people’s lives and reverse the cyclical nature of disadvantage. She believes technology is changing the nature of everything we do, and is interested to see how the world will respond to these shifting dynamics.

Ma & Morley Scholar Vanessa McDonald

Charlestown, Lake Macquarie NSW
Bachelor of Business
Scholarship Category: Immersion

Participating in the Mentor Support Network for the Hunter Region inspired Vanessa in more ways than one. In addition to receiving valuable advice on her own life choices, the proud Novocastrian decided to pay it forward and become a City Ambassador for Newcastle – a role that supports the creation of a world class smart city. As one of the inaugural student entrepreneurs of the Sydney School of Entrepreneurship, Vanessa believes that embracing collaboration and being inspired to motivate others are essential qualities for leadership, and that the smallest acts can offer great rewards. Vanessa continues to be involved in mentoring initiatives, drawing on her experience to help high school and fellow university students, and encourage others to be agents of change in their chosen field or community.

Ma & Morley Scholar, Jarred Zeman

Lambton, Hunter Valley NSW
Bachelor of Engineering (Honours) (Electrical) and Science (Physics)
Scholarship Category: Immersion

At school, Jarred would take things apart to see how they were made. He’d then think about how they could be improved, or used in other combinations to make a more effective product. Now an electrical engineering student, Jarred still takes things apart – it’s only the scale that has changed. Inspired by global innovators like Elon Musk, Jarred is excited by the future of electric vehicles. As part of his final year project, Jarred is focusing on improving the performance and efficiency of multilevel inverter technology. He hopes that these improvements can be utilised in the Hunter Valley Electric vehicle competition and by the NU Racing team. Jarred is dedicated to improving humanity through his innovation work, volunteering and other community initiatives.