Gardiner Dairy Foundation has awarded seven tertiary scholarships to students from Victorian dairy regions who are commencing their first year of tertiary study in 2022.

The 2022 Gardiner Foundation Tertiary Scholars are: George Nicoll, Fish Creek (Bill Pyle scholarship); Maya Osborne-Coleman, Maffra (Shirley Harlock scholarship); Scarlett Grinter, Muckatah (Doug Weir scholarship); Flynn Cannon, Maffra (Jakob Malmo scholarship). The 2022 Niel Black scholars are Alex Smith, St Germains; Anastasia Rea, Allansford; and Ebony Cook, Devon North.

The scholarships are awarded annually to students living in Victorian dairy communities who have successfully completed their secondary schooling and contributed to their community as well as demonstrating leadership and a commitment to personal development.

The scholarships are named in recognition of the significant contribution to the dairy industry made by past industry leaders and legends Shirley Harlock, Jakob Malmo, Bill Pyle, Doug Weir and Niel Black.

Each scholarship recipient will receive $10,000 annually for up to three years to contribute towards costs associated with their studies.

“Regional students incur high costs associated with relocating from home to undertake tertiary education,” said Gardiner Dairy Foundation, Chief Executive Officer, Allan Cameron. “These scholarships aim to support the development of young professionals who may not otherwise have the opportunity to pursue higher education.”

The Tertiary Scholarships program encourages students to return to Victoria’s dairy regions upon graduating, or after gaining further work experience, to ensure a diverse range of essential skills within these regions.

2022 Gardiner Dairy Foundation Tertiary Scholars:

George Nicoll, Fish Creek (Bill Pyle scholarship)

George grew up on a family dairy farm at Fish Creek in South Gippsland and attended Foster Secondary College where he was a house captain. He will be studying a Bachelor of Arts at the University of Melbourne.

He has also organised the 2021 National Tree Day on his family farm where they planted five-hundred trees.

George wants to provide quality science-based communication and journalism to increase awareness of the benefits of dairy and sustainable farming.

Maya Osborne-Coleman, Maffra (Shirley Harlock scholarship)

Maya completed VCE in 2020 and has spent the last year working on the family dairy farm in Riverslea. She will be studying a Bachelor of Agricultural Science at Charles Sturt University in Wagga Wagga.

Maya has been involved in creating awareness for Dollys Dream which addresses the impact of bullying, anxiety, depression and youth suicide, through education and direct support to young people and families.

She loves working outdoors and would like to be a rural journalist, sharing stories of people who work on the land with the rest of the community.

Scarlett Grinter, Muckatah (Doug Weir scholarship)

Scarlett has grown up on a family dairy farm at Muckatah in Northern Victoria and completed VCE at Cobram Secondary College. She will study a Bachelor of Agricultural Science at the University of Adelaide.

She wants to better understand the science behind agriculture and bring back skills to improve the practices on the family farm.

Scarlett has had extensive involvement with the Scouts for the past ten years and has not only received her Australian Scout Medallion but is also the Chair for her Venturer region.

She has also volunteered at the Cobram Community youth cinema.

Flynn Cannon, Maffra (Jakob Malmo scholarship)

Flynn completed year 12 at Maffra Secondary College and will be studying an Advanced Diploma of Agribusiness Management at Longerenong Agricultural College.

Flynn’s future career aspirations are to return to the family farm and to progress into share farming and eventually to own and operate a successful dairy farm in Gippsland.

He is a member of the local Young Dairy Network group and volunteers as part of the local hill climb club, Maffra and District Car Club.

Alex Smith, St Germains (Niel Black scholarship)

Alex completed year 12 at Moama Anglican Grammar and will be studying a Bachelor of Dental Science at La Trobe University in Bendigo.

He has been involved with the CFA since he was 16 years old and works as a farmhand on his parent’s dairy farm in the Goulburn valley.

Alex aspires to become a local dentist and run a farm with his family.

Anastasia Rea, Allansford (Niel Black scholarship)

For the last 12 months Anastasia has taken a gap year during which she has developed a passion for agriculture by working on a dairy farm. She will be studying an Advanced Diploma of Agribusiness Management at Longerenong Agricultural College.

Anastasia’s involvement with the Girl Guides has enabled her to participate in community events and fundraisers like Clean Up Australia and working at a Bunnings BBQ stall. Following her Advanced Diploma Anastasia would like to commence an Ag Science Degree at Charles Sturt University and work in animal nutrition or as a stock agent.

Ebony Cook, Devon North (Niel Black scholarship)

Ebony completed VCE at Yarram Secondary College and is relocating to Monash University’s Peninsula Campus to study a Bachelor of Nursing.

Ebony has always had a passion to help people and wants to provide more medical support to her community which is an hour’s drive from a large hospital.

She has her Australian Scout medallion and has volunteered at the Yarram Community House helping with meals program. During the power outages and floods in 2021 she helped provide hot meals to those without power.