The Gardiner Dairy Foundation has increased the number Tertiary Scholarships it awards annually from four to seven.

Three new scholarships in honour of the late Niel Black have been awarded to students in each of the major Victorian dairy regions. The four other scholarships are named in recognition of services to the dairy industry by Shirley Harlock, Jakob Malmo, Bill Pyle and Doug Weir.

Scholarships are awarded to students from Victorian dairy regions who are commencing study in 2019.

The 2019 Gardiner Dairy Foundation Tertiary Scholars are: Carley Einsiedel, Boisdale (Bill Pyle scholarship); Isabella McCluggage, Allansford (Niel Black scholarship); Jasmine McJames-Court, Pound Creek (Shirley Harlock scholarship); Lauren Brewer, Warragul (Doug Weir scholarship); Lauren McIlveen, Camperdown (Jakob Malmo scholarship); Olivia Betts, Granite Rock (Niel Black scholarship); Sharna Hagendoorn, Cohuna (Niel Black scholarship).

Each scholar will receive $10,000 annually over three years to contribute towards costs associated with their studies.

Niel Black left a bequest to the Gardiner Dairy Foundation, part of which will support a tertiary scholar from each Victorian dairy region. Niel Black was involved in most aspects of the dairy industry. After studying artificial breeding in the US, he became a pioneer of the herd improvement industry. He was a founding partner of DemoDAIRY research centre in Terang and was an advocate and supporter of the United Dairy Farmers of Victoria for more than 50 years.

“Niel always generously shared his knowledge with newcomers and actively supported the development of young people,” said Gardiner Dairy Foundation Chief Executive Officer, Dr Clive Noble.

The Gardiner Dairy Foundation Tertiary Scholarships are awarded to students who have been accepted into a course that will benefit the Victorian dairy industry or dairy communities. The program aims to encourage students to return to the dairy industry on graduating and contributing positively through the skills they have gained.

Dr Noble said a diverse range of skills are needed to ensure the Victorian dairy industry and dairy communities are resilient and adaptable.

“Dairy communities need high level skills in all areas of dairying as well as in essential areas such as health, education and finance. However, there is a huge cost for students associated with relocating to undertake the higher education and training required to develop these skills.

“The Tertiary Scholarships support the development of young professionals who may not have had the opportunity to pursue higher education and who intend to bring their skills back to a dairy region in the future,” said Dr Noble. “They are an important investment in our People and Community Development portfolio.”

Applications for 2020 Tertiary Scholarships will open in August 2019.

For more information please go to: or email
Richard Meredith:


West Gippsland – Lauren Brewer

Successful scholar, Lauren Brewer from Warragul, is studying a Bachelor of Paramedicine at Monash Peninsula Campus, and is delighted to have been awarded a Gardiner Dairy Foundation Scholarship.

“It will help to cover my living away from home expenses and allow me to return home to keep up with my fire brigade commitments,” she said.

As a ‘country girl’ Lauren plans to become a paramedic and to be stationed in a country area when she graduates.

South Gippsland – Jasmine McJames-Court

Successful scholar, Jasmine McJames-Court from Pound Creek, is studying a Bachelor of Nursing at Victoria University, St Albans, and is excited by the opportunities that the scholarship can provide.

“It would be very difficult to support myself living away from home without The Gardiner Foundation scholarship, particularly with accommodation,” she said. “It will allow me to study without having to take a full-time job as well.

“I can’t express how thankful I am that the Gardiner Foundation is able to offer these scholarships to support young, rural people.”

After graduating Jasmine plans to return to the family farm and to also work in the local community as a nurse.

“This will give me greater flexibility. Mum said to me ‘don’t come back on the farm without a degree’ and I agree with her.”

East Gippsland – Carley Einsiedel

Successful scholar, Carley Einsiedel, Boisdale, is studying an Advanced Diploma of Agribusiness Management at Longerenong Agricultural College.

“The Gardiner Foundation scholarship will allow me to travel to uni which is six and a half hours from home and come back to help at home. But mostly it will help me with the cost of accommodation,” she said. “Without the scholarship it would be a struggle. It’s a big relief.”

Carley will focus on animal nutrition and agronomy in her course and after graduating she plans to work with a sustainable agricultural company in the MacAlister district.

“I’m keen to work with farmers on sustainable farming and agricultural methods, water management and crop rotation.”

Northern Victoria – Sharna Hagendoorn

Successful scholar, Sharna Hagendoorn, is studying a Bachelor of Science at Melbourne University and plans to transfer into a doctorate of Veterinary Medicine after completing her 3-year undergraduate degree.

“The Gardiner Foundation scholarship will help with my costs, particularly with accommodation in Melbourne, which is very expensive” she said. “It will definitely ease the financial pressure on me and I am very thankful to the Gardiner Foundation for this scholarship.”

Sharna plans to major in animal health and disease and to go on to work with large animals – cows and horses – in a small rural town.

South West Victoria – Isabella McLuggage

Successful scholar, Isabella McLuggage, is studying a Bachelor of Occupational Therapy at Australian Catholic University in Melbourne.

“The Gardiner Foundation scholarship will provide me with extra support in covering the expenses in moving away from home, like uni fees, living costs and accommodation,” she said.

“I feel very privileged as a third-generation dairy farmer to be accepted for this scholarship. I am looking forward to bringing the skills I learn back to south-west Victoria when I graduate.”

For media enquiries, please contact Richard Meredith at the Gardiner Dairy Foundation on 0438 553 052 or

Photos: Individual and group photos available