Commitment to education and involvement in the indigenous community have given the futures of Ballarat High School students Lachlan Walker and Jessica Van Nus a boost.
The pair were two of 20 Victorian students who were this week awarded a $5000 Marrung Education Scholarship during a special ceremony at Parliament House in Melbourne
For both year 11 students it will ease the pressure on their final years of schooling and open up opportunities in further education.
“Financially, coming from a single parent family, it means I can join in more in school and in the community, and just having this I’m sure will lead in to more things,” Ms Van Nus said.
A keen indigenous artist, Ms Van Nus exhibits her Aboriginal art, along with works from family and friends, to help promote understanding and learning of indigenous culture in the wider community.
Ms Van Nus said attending the awards ceremony in Melbourne brought with it the chance to make further connections within the indigenous community, and the awards helped create more opportunities for indigenous youth.
“When I went to the award ceremony many people there were related or connected so it helped me build my connections,” she said.
Mr Walker said the financial support from the prize would help with his learning and buying school supplies such as laptops, stationery and books.
“These guys are all rounders and I have no doubt in my mind that wherever they want to go in life they will succeed with positive pathways down the track.”Ballarat High assistant principal Ian Van Schie
And although he’s not sure what life after school will bring, he’s keen to explore aviation as a career and the scholarship’s cash boost will help him along the way.
Outside of school, Mr Walker is involved in the part of the Australian Indigenous Mentoring Experience program, having attended a number of events with the group.
Ballarat High School assistant principal Ian Van Schie said the two were invited to apply for the scholarships which assess school results and attitude as well as their community involvement.
“These guys are all rounders and I have no doubt in my mind that wherever they want to go in life they will succeed with positive pathways down the track,” he said.
The 2018 scholarship winners came from 15 different government schools across the state, joining in more than 180 students who have received scholarships since the program started in 2009.