Murdoch attracting top rural students by easing the financial burden

September 19, 2016

A GAF scholarship has given Josette Fretton the freedom to gain work experience during her vet science degree. Murdoch University is pleased to announce the extension of The George Alexander Foundation (GAF) Scholarships program until 2021.

This successful scholarship program has attracted top rural students to Murdoch University since 2008. The extension of funding brings the total amount awarded to nearly $1.5 million to support students from all over regional Western Australia in their pursuit of higher education.

Each year Murdoch University awards six George Alexander Foundation scholarships worth up to $24,000 over a three or four-year degree to students needing to relocate from regional or remote areas to study at Murdoch.

Murdoch University Development Officer, Clara Millet, said these scholarships addressed one of the most critical factors affecting university education for rural students, the distance between home and university.

“Murdoch is extremely appreciative of the support from the George Alexander Foundation for their significant contribution to such a dedicated, talented group of students,” she said.

“It is very challenging for regional students to adjust to living in the city while also trying to find their feet in a new university environment.

”Easing the financial burden for these students gives them the freedom to focus on their studies.”

More than 50 high achieving students from regional and rural areas have already benefited from the GAF scholarships during their studies at Murdoch.

GAF scholar Josette Fretton, who moved from Albany to study veterinary science at Murdoch University, said the support has been invaluable.

“Receiving the GAF scholarship has provided me with a level of independence not often available for rural students in the city,” she said.

“Last year, I spent a month gaining work experience on a cattle station in Central Queensland, which was a truly phenomenal experience that introduced me to many aspects of the beef cattle industry that will be applicable to my future as a vet.”

George Alexander Foundation CEO, Craig Connelly said the GAF scholarships were an important investment in the future of young Australians and their ongoing contribution to the broader community.

“The Foundation has renewed the scholarship partnership with Murdoch three times – in 2010, 2013 and again in 2016,” he said.

“Murdoch University has proven to be a strong partner of the Foundation, managing and promoting a successful scholarship program resulting in significant demand for the scholarships. It is for these reasons that the Foundation has extended this program for another three years.”

The total value of the new partnership renewal is $432,000 and will be supporting 18 regional Murdoch University students who demonstrate high academic achievement, strong community involvement and leadership skills.

The George Alexander Foundation supports scholarship programs at 11 higher education institutions across Australia, but Murdoch University is the only one in Western Australia.

Applications are now open for the scholarships. More information and application details are available here

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Media contact: Pepita Smyth
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