Students from The King’s School at North Parramatta were among more than 200 to help launch the largest private education scholarship program in Australia’s history.
The Westpac Bicentennial Foundation will initially partner with the universities of Sydney, Melbourne and Wollongong to deliver scholarships to postgraduate and undergraduate students and community leaders.
Westpac chief executive Gail Kelly thanked the students who supported the launch of the new foundation on April 2.
“It was inspiring to see so many young Australians come together to draw attention to the importance of education in helping forge a brighter future for our nation,” Mrs Kelly said.
About 100 scholarships will be awarded each year.
■ About 17 Future Leaders scholarships will be awarded to new or recent graduates for postgraduate study at a prestigious global institution nationally each year. Recipients will come from a wide range of disciplines, with preference given to Australia’s relationship with Asia and technology and innovation.
■ The Best and Brightest program will provide awards to post-doctoral researchers in Australian research universities. The awards will go to two recipients whose work could contribute to enhancing Australia’s competitive position in technology and innovation, or help strengthen Australia’s ties with Asian economies.
■ The Young Technologists program will offer 30 to 40 merit-based three-year undergraduate scholarships each year to encourage diversity and reduce the education barrier of economic disadvantage.
■ Asian Exchange scholarships will provide the opportunity for Australian undergraduate students to spend a semester at a leading Asian university, with a focus on increasing the number of Asia-literate graduates in Australia. About 30 to 40 scholarships will be given each year.
■ The Community Leaders program will provide 10 awards annually to community leaders to undertake a personal educational opportunity that will have a direct value to their community.
The first round of scholarships will open to Australian citizens and permanent residents later this year.