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The legacy of a pioneering engineer endures

Steve Balcombe Scholars

It’s been 20 years since the first University of Tasmania student was given a scholarship in the name of a visionary Tasmanian engineer and inspirational leader.

The inaugural Hobart Water chairman and alumnus Steve Balcombe (BEng 1977) was a pioneer in the Tasmanian water industry.

He led a distinguished career in both public and private sectors and he wanted to help young people carve out their career.

The TasWater scholarship, which was named in Steve’s honour after his premature death in 2001, offers promising undergraduates financial support and invaluable work experience.

Morgan Wey is the 20th recipient. She is currently in her first year of a Bachelor of Engineering in Launceston but will relocate to Hobart to complete her tertiary study.

Morgan will receive $6,000 for each year of her course, as well as work experience, mentoring and networking opportunities.

“The financial support this scholarship offers will enable me to better focus on my studies and will greatly relieve financial pressure when I relocate, Morgan said.

“The work placement is an amazing pathway into the engineering field. I’m looking forward to gaining hands on experience outside of the classroom.”

Many previous scholarship recipients attended a 20th anniversary lunch in Hobart in February.

“Everything I have achieved to date in my career is because of the scholarship, it gave me my opening in the water industry,” the 2012 scholarship recipient and alumnus Matt Robertson (BE 2015) said.

Hannah Atkins (BE Hons 2010) received the scholarship at the start of her Civil Engineering Degree in 2007.

“As a fresh-faced young engineering student, a female, and an import to Hobart from the North- receiving the scholarship meant a great deal to myself and my family,” she said.

The scholarship also linked her into a scholarship community of TasWater staff, members of the Balcombe family and previous recipients.

Since her time at Hobart Water, Hannah has worked with engineering firm pitt&sherry. She is now at Clarence City Council, working in stormwater and flood risk and mitigation.

TasWater Chairman and alumnus Dr Stephen Gumley (BE Hons 1979, MBA 1995, Hon DEng 2010) said he was very appreciative of the Balcombe family’s continued support in enabling TasWater to help talented students to follow in Steve's footsteps.

"The scholarship also helps ensure Tasmania has the skills base to develop the long-term sustainable water and sewage sector to service the community and protect the environment,” Dr Gumley said.

Natasha Andrews, Senior Advancement Coordinator at the University of Tasmania, thanked TasWater for their continuing commitment to the scholarship.

“Your support demonstrates a recognition that scholarships help shape and change lives.”

Each year more than 400 University of Tasmania students are supported via a range of philanthropically funded scholarships.

“These scholarships are funded from gifts received from a variety of businesses, individuals and community groups, and we remain committed to working with these generous donors to make higher education a reality for as many people as possible,” Ms Andrews said.

Image: Some of the previous recipients of the Steve Balcombe scholarship with this year’s recipient, Morgan Wye:
Back: (L-R) Morgan Wye (2020), Mae Farrell (2015), Jenna Farrow (2018), Hannah Atkins (2007).
Front: (L-R) Bryony Elson (2005),  Matthew Robertson (2012) and Callum Tate (2016), Gabriella Tregurtha (2013).

Published on: 13 Mar 2020 2:47pm