Seven students from Victorian dairy regions, commencing their first year of tertiary study in 2024, have been honoured with scholarships from the Gardiner Foundation.

The 2024 Gardiner Foundation Tertiary Scholars are: Eloise Murnane, Warncoort (Bill Pyle scholarship); Libby Clymo, Calivil (Shirley Harlock scholarship); Alexandra Ingram, Timmering (Doug Weir scholarship); Clara Linn, Childers (Jakob Malmo scholarship). The 2024 Niel Black scholars are Alysha Toohill, Kyabram; Ella Bryant, Kaarimba; and Harry Murphy, Irrewarra.

Each scholar will receive $10,000 annually for three years to support costs associated with their studies. These scholarships are granted to students accepted into courses that will benefit the Victorian dairy industry or dairy communities.

Gardiner Foundation CEO Allan Cameron said the program encourages students to return to Victoria’s dairy regions upon graduation or after gaining work experience. This ensures a diverse range of essential skills within these regions.

“More students from dairy communities obtaining skills and experiences in their chosen field of endeavour will help create thriving and vibrant communities where people want to live, work, and invest,” said Mr. Cameron.

There is no preferred field of study, with past students enrolling in a variety of courses, including agriculture science, nursing, medicine, engineering, journalism and commerce. Libby Clymo, who grew up in the small community of Calivil, plans to study physiotherapy.

“Growing up in a farming community, it is not uncommon to hear farmers complain of their ‘aching lower back’ or ‘kinked neck’ while not seeking further treatment. A large proportion of farmers are not properly educated about the impact of their work environments on their muscles and bodies,” Libby said.

“My hope is to empower farming communities by providing access to top-quality healthcare ensuring some of our hardest-working individuals are kept fit and pain-free.”

Gardiner has been providing these scholarships since 2008, having awarded 82 scholarships with a total value of over $1.9 million. A recent review indicated that over 70% of past scholars have gone on to live in and contribute to the dairy industry and dairy communities.

“Investing in rural Victorian students builds the social capital of our dairy communities. Gardiner is proud to provide students with the opportunity to gain their tertiary qualifications without some of the financial constraints that can often exist for students from the country,” Mr. Cameron said.

The tertiary scholarships are named in recognition of services to the dairy industry by Niel Black, Shirley Harlock, Jakob Malmo, Bill Pyle, and Doug Weir.

Congratulations to all scholars.

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