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Agriculture and the arts feature in Westpac Scholarships


Three University of Tasmania students have received 2023 Westpac Scholarships in two categories: 2023 Westpac Future Leaders and Asian Exchange.

Each year, the Westpac Scholars Trust awards 100 scholarships across five program streams to individuals chosen for their passion and drive to create positive change in Australia. The scholarships provide financial support, leadership development and networking opportunities.

Westpac Scholars Trust CEO Amy Lyden said: “I couldn’t be more impressed with the calibre of scholars we’ve awarded this year.”

2023 Future Leaders Scholarship

University of Tasmania PhD student and alumna Evelyn Lambeth (BA Hons 2022) and PhD student Rebekah Ash are among 17 postgraduate students named 2023 Future Leaders, each receiving scholarships valued at $120,000.

“The Westpac Future Leaders program was developed to enable, connect and build the confidence and leadership capability of the nation’s best and brightest students,” said Ms Lyden.

“By empowering our newest scholars through education, leadership and connections, I believe they will shape a better Australia now and in the future.”

Beyond financial support, each Future Leaders Scholar also participates in a nine-month leadership program, including a week-long residential experience in Sydney.

Evelyn Lambeth will investigate colonial legacies and how they affect our food systems – particularly in relation to the pork industry. Evelyn hopes to create safer and more sustainable food systems in Australia.

“My PhD project will interrogate the historically constituted cultural attitudes toward pig consumption in Australia to ascertain the effects on current food safety within pork production," Evelyn said.

“The long-term goal of my research is to enable Australia to develop culturally sensitive, and environmentally sustainable food systems. By producing pork closer to where it is consumed, the research will strengthen Australasian ties, increase food sovereignty, and help to mitigate climate change.

“In one word, the Westpac Scholarship to me speaks freedom. Freedom to pursue, freedom to dive in, freedom to engage deeply, and ultimately the freedom to make long-lasting change.”

Rebekah Ash describes herself as a “female leader championing positive change in agricultural environmental and social sustainability”.

She said travelling through developing countries as a child and teenager alongside her father’s work instilled a deep interest in food security, rural communities, and sustainability from a young age.

“My aim is to improve contemporary scientific understanding and catalyse the adoption of agricultural land management practices that provide resilience to the climate emergency. Most of all, I am passionate about working with landholders – the people who manage over 50 percent of Earth's land – to achieve these goals by informing public policy.”

“My PhD project will focus on socially and economically responsible trajectories towards farms with net-zero emissions.

“Prior to engaging in my PhD, I have worked in enabling the early adoption of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions mitigation and carbon sequestration initiatives under the Emissions Reduction Fund, which collectively underpin Australia’s net-zero 2050 aspiration and Meat & Livestock Australia’s Carbon Neutral 2030 Initiative (CN30).”

Asian Exchange Scholarship

University of Tasmania Fine Arts undergraduate Skye Manley (they/them) has been awarded an Asian Exchange Scholarship, a program that offers an international experience in Asia, to help develop each Westpac Scholar’s cross-cultural thinking and provide them access to networking opportunities with Australia-Asia thought leaders.

Skye, a practising street artist, plans to use the exchange to travel to Hong Kong to study Fine Arts at the City University of Hong Kong.

Below:  Westpac scholarship success for Evelyn Lambeth, Skye Manley and Rebekah Ash.