Scholarship studies depression


Agriculture is in the blood for Cassidy Chambers, who has won this year’s inaugural Rob Ashman Memorial Scholarship.

The scholarship, which is sponsored by Hassad Australia and the South East Premium Wheat Growers’ Association, was developed to raise the awareness of depression in rural Australia and support capacity-building in agriculture.

It is targeted at young people who are passionate about agriculture, with a keen interest in the future of agriculture and who are ready to expand their networks and learn new skills.

The scholarship is in honour of Rob Ashman, who sadly took his life in 2015 after suffering from depression for many years.

Mr Ashman managed properties for Hassad Australia and was also an active member of SEPWA.

The winner of the scholarship was announced at the SEPWA Harvest Review on March 11, in Esperance, by Kim Packer from Hassad Australia and Sue Ashman, wife of the late Mr Ashman.

Ms Chambers, who hails from a family farm north of Ravensthorpe, is a third year Bachelor of Science student who is studying a double major in Agriculture Science and Environmental Science at the University of WA.

She said she was honoured to win the award and very grateful for the opportunity and financial assistance with her study.

“Growing up on the farm, I have always been interested in all agriculture, the new technology and how much our farming practices have changed even in my lifetime,” she said.

“It’s a huge part of our future and I really want to be actively involved in that.”

Following the completion of her studies and with her interest in science, Ms Chambers said would like to work in the agronomy field with a particular focus on crop nutrition.

The scholarship, which is available to a commencing or current undergraduate student studying agriculture related fields at university, provides a bursary of $3500 and the opportunity to work with SEPWA for work experience.

The Rob Ashman Memorial Scholarship will be open on an annual basis and more information is available on the SEPWA website at

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