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Chemistry scholarship to help students away from home

Media release

A new scholarship to study Chemistry at Curtin University has been launched to ease the financial constraints of regional students forced to study away from home.

The David E. Williams Analytical Reference Laboratory Scholarship has been developed in honour the late David Williams, a scientist hailing from Bunbury who, at the age of 17 in 1974 and out of necessity, had to relocate alone to Perth to study chemistry.

Associate Professor Simon Lewis, Department of Chemistry; Professor Lyn Beazley, Chief Scientist of WA; Elizabeth Williams, Director Analytical Reference Laboratory; and Dr Elizabeth Henry, Curtin Manager Scholarships

Despite the challenges of relocating from his home as a teenager to study, he managed to graduate with Honours in Chemistry and a Graduate Diploma in Business and Administration from the Western Australian Institute of Technology (now Curtin University).

Associate Professor Simon Lewis, of the Department of Chemistry, said the scholarship, worth $3,250 per annum, would support regional and remote students facing similar challenges to Mr Williams, by providing assistance with their course fees, living costs and textbooks.

“Students who are forced to move away from home in order to gain a university education are significantly disadvantaged, which is why this scholarship is so important if we want to continue to develop high quality science graduates in the future,” he said. 

“David was passionate about encouraging more individuals to pursue science as a career and this scholarship, funded by the Analytical Reference Laboratory he built himself during his successful career in chemistry, will certainly help do so.”

The scholarship was launched by Professor Lyn Beazley, Chief Scientist of Western Australia, at Curtin University on 19 November, with presenters including David’s wife, Elizabeth Williams.

Mr Williams passed away in 2011 at the age of 53 after a long illness.

Interested students must apply for the scholarship by 11 March 2013. More information can be found at:

Megan Meates, Public Relations, Curtin University
Tel: 08 9266 4241, Mobile: 0401 103 755, Email:

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