By Sarah Collier

The Gardiner Foundation believes strongly that the next generation of dairy farmers, service providers, professionals, business owners and community volunteers are the future of the dairy industry and its communities.

Therefore, it invests in emerging leaders and practices to help develop a long-term future for the dairy industry. Supporting rural people beginning tertiary study through the Gardiner Foundation tertiary scholarship program contributes to achieving this goal.

The tertiary scholarships aim to strengthen dairy communities by lowering some of the barriers for regional people to access tertiary education. “We are confident that by selecting people who are capable and demonstrate a passion for regional Victoria, they will one day return to dairy communities with the skills they’ve developed while studying, thereby strengthening those dairy communities,” Allan Cameron, Gardiner Foundation’s Chief Executive Officer, said.

Gardiner Foundation is proud to offer tertiary scholarships to up to seven individuals residing in Victorian dairy communities. Students must pursue a career that will either directly benefit the dairy industry and/or benefit dairy communities. Each scholarship is worth $10,000 per year and provides financial support for accommodation, travel, as well as essential study materials.

Scholarships are available for the first three years of a scholar’s University or TAFE course.

“The scholarship was a critical part in my life which has led me to the work I’m in now. I don’t know where I would have ended up without it,” Lauren Brewer, a previous scholarship recipient, said. She currently works as a paramedic at a remote mine site in the Gibson Desert.

Each of our scholarships is named in honour of individuals who have made a significant contribution to the dairy industry and its communities in Victoria. Scholarships honour Shirley Harlock, Jakob Malmo, Bill Pyle, Doug Weir, and Niel Black.

Gardiner has been providing these Scholarships since 2008 and awarded 75 scholarships with a total value of over $1.7 million.

A review indicated that over 70% of past scholars have gone on to live in and contribute to the dairy industry and dairy communities since completing their tertiary studies.

This year’s tertiary scholarships have been awarded to our outstanding recipients during a presentation lunch.

Our 2023 scholars are:

  • William Coleman, who received the Jakob Malmo scholarship, and is studying a Bachelor of Medical Studies/Doctor of Medicine.
  • Hamish Wortley, who received the Bill Pyle scholarship, and is studying a Bachelor of Business (Agribusiness).
  • Hamish McLeod, who received the Doug Weir scholarship, and is studying a Bachelor of Commerce.
  • Tess Doyle, who received the Niel Black scholarship, and is studying a Bachelor of Speech Pathology (Honours).
  • Hamish Smith, who received the Niel Black scholarship, and is studying a Bachelor of Agriculture/Bachelor of Business.
  • Eden McMillan, who received the Niel Black scholarship, and is studying Bachelor of Paramedicine/Bachelor of Nursing.
  • Sarah Matthews, who received the Shirley Harlock scholarship, and is studying a Bachelor of Environmental Science and Management.

Congratulations to all scholars.

For more information and to apply visit