Distance no barrier to university education thanks to GAF scholarships

March 16, 2018

Michael Sgro is one of seven regional/remotely-based students to receive a GAF scholarship.

Seven talented students from regional and remote areas of Australia have begun studying at Murdoch University thanks to generous scholarships from the George Alexander Foundation.

The funding, worth more than $24,000 over three years, aims to alleviate the financial pressures associated with attending university so far away from family and friends.

The latest group of students to successfully apply for GAF scholarships, have just begun studying a range of disciplines at Murdoch including Criminology, Education, Chiropractic, Environmental Science, Arts, Creative Media and Animal Science. They come from villages and towns located throughout Western Australia, and even as far away as Queensland.

Michael Sgro, who is studying for a Bachelor of Creative Media, was prepared to do the daily commute from his hometown in Mandurah. But the scholarship has ensured he can remain just a stone’s throw away from University as it is paying for his accommodation at the Murdoch Village.

“I get to live on campus, get involved in extra-curricular activities and meet all these incredible like-minded individuals,” he said. “Being at Murdoch Village means I can learn how to look after myself as an adult and focus on learning to make the most out of my degree.”

Cowaramup resident Hannah Biddulph, who is studying for a Bachelor of Science and a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine, said she was surprised to receive the phone call about winning the scholarship.

“I was in a state of disbelief, but at the same time, was relieved as I had just learnt that I was ineligible for Centrelink support and didn’t know where I would get the money to fund myself through university,” she said.

“I won’t have the financial burden of a living costs loan on my shoulders which will enable me to focus on my studies and really perform at my best.”

Director of Advancement at Murdoch University, Robin Sharp, said the scholarships bring a window of opportunity for aspiring students in regional areas.

“Moving from where you grew up, adjusting to a student lifestyle, living in a busy city and handling the responsibilities of independent living is a big step for young people,” she said.

“These scholarships take the pressure off students who have made a dramatic lifestyle shift and give them the confidence to pursue their higher education.”

Since 2008, the George Alexander Foundation has awarded more than $1.4 million in scholarships to regional students to help them fulfill their dreams of studying at Murdoch University.

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Media contact: Sarah Thillagaratnam
Tel: 9360 2858  |  Mobile:   |  Email: sarah.t@murdoch.edu.au
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