Manjimup twins Luke and Joshua Batchelor are set to create their future thanks to a scholarship from Curtin University.
The pair, who graduated from Manjimup Senior High School last year, will this week start courses in Computer Science and Actuarial Science respectively.
Both are amongst the first set of recipients of the new Create Your Future Scholarship, introduced by Curtin this year. It offers selected students $6000 per annum to be used for books and living expenses as well as providing academic and personal support for the duration of their degree.
Applicants must be nominated by their school principal, face financial barriers and display high academic performance. Five Create Your Future scholarships were awarded for 2011.
Luke also received a Curtin University Principal’s Recommendation Award for his consistent academic results. Recipients are nominated by their school principal and receive a one-off payment of $1500 to assist with costs associated with studying.
The twins moved to Manjimup in Grade 7 and completed high school in the south-west town. Both juggled hectic study schedules with part-time work, working between 20 and 30 hours a week at the local Chicken Treat, working full-time during school holidays, as well as working on farms packing fruit or picking cauliflower.
Luke and Josh have paid their own school fees since Year 10, as well as school excursions and saved enough money to buy a car each.
“We decided to be financially independent when we were 16,” Luke said.
“The scholarship will really help both of us to be able to move and live in Perth and study at the same time.”
Josh, who was voted as head boy and was an integral part of the Student Executive, said he had always had an interest in maths and statistics.
He hopes to eventually work as an actuary or business system analyst while Luke hopes to work in computer-related security.
Curtin Deputy Vice-Chancellor Education, Professor Robyn Quin, said the new scholarship recognised outstanding students such as Luke and Josh.
“The Create Your Future is a significant scholarship introduced by Curtin this year to reward students who show academic potential but may face difficulties that could prevent them from achieving their full potential,” Professor Quin said.