Students reap benefits of scholarships

Dorothy HendersonCountryman

Students studying agribusiness and commerce will benefit from this year’s South East Premium Wheatgrowers’ Association’s scholarships.

Three tertiary students hailing from the Esperance Port Zone were the fortunate recipients after being announced at SEPWA’s harvest review last month.

Making the announcement, SEPWA committee member Lyndon Mickel said the record number of applicants indicated that studying agriculture was becoming “sexy” again.

Jesse Rowe, winner of the third $3500 Rob Ashman Scholarship, is studying a Bachelor of Agribusiness at Curtin University.

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Although not from a farm, Mr Rowe has been working on farms and the broader industry in the Esperance region for several years to gain experience.

Mr Mickel said Mr Rowe was regarded as a worthy winner of the program, which entails one week of work experience in the middle of the year. The Rob Ashman scholarship was founded in memory of its namesake, who took his own life in 2015.

It was a combined initiative of SEPWA and Hassad Australia.

Mr Ashman managed properties for Hassad Australia within the Esperance Port Zone and was also an active member of SEPWA.

“This scholarship was to raise awareness of depression in rural Australia and build capacity in the industry,” Mr Mickel said.

Kate Witham, also from Esperance, was awarded the inaugural $3500 Farm and General university scholarship.

Ms Witham chose to study agribusiness at Curtin Uni-versity because she wanted to be involved in an industry that interested her and one that showed strong job opportunities.

Esperance-based business Farm and General will help with the work experience, playing its part supporting the future generation of industry leaders.

Sam Ashby received the $2000 SEPWA scholarship.

Mr Mickel said the SEPWA executive board wanted to take the opportunity to support students and saw potential in capacity building for the region through an additional scholarship fund.

Mr Ashby is studying a Bachelor of Commerce degree at Curtin University and hopes to work in agriculture after completing his degree.

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