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Curtin future leaders awarded competitive national scholarships

Media release

Two Curtin University graduates have been selected for the highly competitive Westpac Future Leaders Scholarship, awarded to the most exceptional young Australians to further their studies.

Curtin Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Commerce (Economics and International Relations Double Degree Major) graduate Talia Melsom will now complete a Master of International and Development Economics at the Australian National University.

Curtin Bachelor of Education (Secondary Education) graduate Cameron Thorn is aiming to complete a Master of Studies at The University of Western Australia.

Curtin University Vice-Chancellor Professor Deborah Terry congratulated both Curtin graduates on being awarded Westpac Future Leaders Scholarships.

“The Westpac Future Leaders Scholarship program supports exceptional young Australians to undertake postgraduate studies in order to help them on their journey to make a difference in their chosen field,” Professor Terry said.

“I am delighted to congratulate both Talia and Cameron on being selected among the nation’s emerging leaders to take part in this incredible program and look forward to seeing their contribution to the country’s economic growth and the nation’s education system in the future.”

Ms Melsom, 23, said she was over the moon to have been awarded the scholarship, which would enable her to complete her studies while also undertaking an international exchange to gain work experience in Asia and taking part in the Westpac Leadership Development Program.

“My goal is to increase Australia’s economic wellbeing by advancing our opportunities through trade and cooperation with transnational corporations across Asia and I feel so lucky to have received this support from the Westpac Scholars Trust to help make this possible,” Ms Melsom said.

“On completion, I hope to contribute to Australia’s future growth and prosperity by improving trade deals and contributing to food and resource security in the region.”

Mr Thorn, 29, said he was honoured to have been awarded the scholarship, adding it would provide valuable support for his postgraduate studies and beyond, as well as vital international experience and professional development.

“My ultimate goal is to ensure that every student at every school receives the same level of support in order to pursue their own dreams, and the Westpac Future Leaders Scholarship will help me to achieve this,” Mr Thorn said.

“Once I have completed my postgraduate studies, I am aiming to work with schools on establishing a place-based approach, identifying locally what the students and community need to fill the gaps, resulting in better outcomes for students, the education system and the wider community.”

The Westpac Future Leaders Scholarships are valued at more than $2 million, providing each individual up to $120,000 for research or coursework studies at a graduate level, including a nine-month bespoke leadership development program and international experiences.

All recipients also gain lifelong access to the Westpac 100 Scholars Network. Growing by 100 scholars a year across the Westpac Scholars Trust’s five scholarship programs, the network connects a community of people from all walks of life with the ideas and drive to help shape a better future for all Australians.

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