Two La Trobe University students residing within the Nicholls electorate are among four recipients of tertiary scholarships – valued at up to $20,000 each – from the Australian Rail Track Corporation.

Federal Member for Nicholls, Damian Drum, said the scholarships – valued at $5000 for each year of undergraduate study – were open to La Trobe University students who live nearby ARTC’s Inland Rail project alignment.

“We’re supporting students in regional areas because the cost of going to university and living away from home can be out of reach for some students who may be experiencing financial hardship or family pressures,” Mr Drum said.

“Students need to be supported and encouraged to stay in their community to study and work, rather than having to move away in the hope they’ll one day return.

“Scholarships like this offer that level of support to help keep local people in their hometowns once they leave school and look to begin their careers.”

The successful applicants were:
Tyler Barnes Nicholls (Bundalong) Bachelor of Biomedical Science (Albury/Wodonga campus)
Kasey Watson Nicholls (Kyabram) Bachelor of Nursing and Midwifery (Bendigo campus)
Renee Smith Bendigo Bachelor of Nursing (Bendigo campus)
Evelyn Gibbons (p/t) Bendigo Bachelor of Science (Bendigo campus)


Inland Rail Director of Planning, Communications and Stakeholder Relations, Rebecca Pickering, said ARTC was keen to support regional students by providing opportunities for them to graduate into fulfilling careers, enabling them to give back to their local communities.

“These scholarships, and any employment opportunities they unlock, will act as a catalyst for positive change in many regional communities along the Inland Rail project alignment, and we are delighted to partner with La Trobe University,” Ms Pickering said.

“What we have heard from previous recipients is they plan to use the Inland Rail scholarship to give back to their local communities and fill existing gaps in their fields in regional Victoria.”

Recipient Tyler Barnes, who is studying biomedical science at La Trobe University’s Albury-Wodonga campus, said he was honoured to be awarded the scholarship.

“Being awarded this scholarship means that I have been given the opportunity to fulfill my goals of studying Biomedical Science to become a general practitioner,” Mr Barnes said.

“This scholarship has changed my life – it means that I can focus on my studies without having to worry about any future financial burden.

“The scholarship will allow me to study while working minimal hours – it frees up more time for me to focus on studies, as well as saving some money for my future medical studies.

“Studying at a regional university is a great privilege that gives me a large sense of belonging and feeling part of a local community. Being at a regional campus allows me to build a strong relationship with my lecturers and fellow regional students.”

La Trobe University Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Global and Regional) Professor Richard Speed thanked ARTC for supporting the scholarship recipients.

“These generous scholarships ensure that students who might not otherwise be able to attend university can do so through critical financial support,” Professor Speed said.

“La Trobe’s regional graduates are highly skilled and career-ready. Through our valued partnership, ARTC is directly contributing to the University’s positive impact on regional and rural communities – and in Tyler’s case, to the future regional medical workforce.”

The program is a partnership between ARTC’s Inland Rail Skills Academy and three regional universities.

The program provides students with targeted support to build their interpersonal skills, job readiness, workplace experience, and general health and wellbeing with the aim of all students successfully completing their degree.

Click here for more information about scholarships through the Inland Rail Skills Academy.



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