Ten awarded study grants to pursue education
At the Foundation House Celebration held on December 10, Chair Lynne Haultain presented study grants to ten outstanding young people from refugee backgrounds to support them in future education and career endeavours. In presenting the awards, Lynne Haultain acknowledged “the great determination, courage and tenacity in a range of very challenging fields” of all ten study grant recipients.
Eight recipients received study grants under the guidelines of the Quentin Buckle Study Grant Award (QBSG), a program designed to honour the contribution as a founder made by long time board member, the late Quentin Buckle. The recipients are:
Mr. Hamed Rajabi, Ms. Lomi Abdurahman, Mr. Omar Al Kassab, Ms. Zaina Al-Assadi, Mr. Sarvenaz Almasi, Mr. Ahmad Askari, Ms. Khawla Gadalla and Ms. Nahid Panahi
Major grant recipient Ahmed Askari is a young Hazara man who came to Australia as an unaccompanied minor. He is planning on studying a Bachelor of Arts from Monash University. Ahmed is a remarkable young man who successfully finished high school despite it being the first time in his life he experienced continuous formal education. In accepting his award Ahmed spoke of the many challenges he has faced and said “Let’s persuade the world that refugees must not be simply viewed as a burden. We are survivors who can bring all those good qualities to the service of our communities and the countries who shelter us.”
Designed to honour the creative legacy of long time board member, the late Ian McKenzie OAM, The Ian McKenzie Endeavour Grant was presented to Ms. Hanan Al-Assadi, a young woman from Iraq who is studying Fashion Design and Technology at RMIT. The award, presented by long time friend of Ian McKenzie, Jackie Wilson, will assist Hanan as she pursues a career in fashion. Part of Hanan’s outstanding application for the award read “…if I receive this award it will mean I can chase my dream and enjoy it without having to always fight and beg for what I need. I will always find a way to be successful because my dream and my education are my weapon.”
An additional study grant, the VFST Study Grant, was also presented to Reza Shaams, a young Hazara man from Afghanistan who arrived in Australia without family three years ago. In 2016, Reza will commence study in Psychological Sciences at Swinburne University, achieving a long held dream to attend university.
The QBSG is currently supported by long term philanthropic partner The Portland House Foundation and The Ian McKenzie Endeavour Award is funded by a bequest made by Ian himself prior to his passing. Foundation House will be seeking additional funding sources in order to increase the pool of funds for 2016 and beyond. If you can assist, please contact Siobhan O’Mara (Study Grant Co-ordinator) on 03 9388 0022.