Four outstanding young UWA graduates with social consciences, bright minds and a commitment to global health have won prestigious scholarships to take them on their journey towards making the world a better place.
Rachel Paterson, a graduate in Advanced Science, was named WA's Rhodes Scholar for 2012, medical graduates Sam Brophy-Williams and Vinay Menon have been awarded General Sir John Monash Awards and Electrical Engineering and Commerce graduate Ananth Dev Tayal has been awarded a 2012 Menzies Engineering Scholarship.
All of them will study overseas next year, each with the goal of making a difference to the global community.
Rachel, who was a UWA Fogarty Foundation Regional Scholar from Bunbury, aims to help rid the world of diseases such as HIV, influenza and cancer. She will study Infection, Immunology and Translational Medicine at Oxford University.
"I have a great passion for medical research as it strives to treat and cure diseases that cause great suffering all over the world," Rachel said. "This course will provide a strong platform from which I can pursue vaccine development for many different diseases."
Rachel has a Bachelor of Science with Honours in Genetics and Biochemistry. She won the JA Wood Memorial Prize last year for UWA's most outstanding graduand. Rachel is a member of the Nedlands Rotary Club, the Oaktree Foundation and the Live Below the Line anti-poverty campaign.
Her win underscores UWA's status as a leading Australian research university with 47 WA Rhodes Scholars in the past 50 years, including former Prime Minister Bob Hawke (1953) and Australia's Ambassador to the US, Kim Beazley (1973).
Sam is a resident doctor at Royal Perth Hospital. Since working as a student in hospitals in Broome and Sierra Leone, he has wanted to add public health expertise to his clinical skills.
"I want to be able to span the gap between individual patient-centred medicine and health from a population perspective," he said. "Further study in global health and public health will give me that broader scope and the knowledge and tools to make a difference on a large scale."
Sam, who started his studies at UWA with a Vice-Chancellor's Award of Distinction, is looking at a Masters in Public Health at either Oxford or Columbia universities.
While at UWA, Sam took a leading role in Uni Camp for Kids. He has set up Uni Camp for Teens, for recent graduates to continue their involvement with the disadvantaged children they watched grow up, and to mentor them through their first few years of high school.
Sam is the son of UWA news editor Lindy Brophy.
Vinay is also at RPH and planning a Masters in Public Health at Harvard. "My dream is to learn from public health leaders and follow in their footsteps to influence Aboriginal health in Australia and community health in the developing world," he said.
He has worked in more than a dozen volunteer programs, helping refugees, Indigenous communities and children with disabilities. Vinay won the Citizenship Award in the WA Youth Awards in 2008 and a Young People's Human Rights Medal in 2010.
He has been National Chair of the Red Cross Youth Advisory Committee and co-founded World Aware, a program set up initially to help young Sudanese refugees, which was later extended to all refugee communities.
He said his volunteer work gave him hope for the young people of the world.
Up to 10 General Sir John Monash scholarships have been awarded each year since 2004. They are not state-specific like the Rhodes Scholarship, and Vice-Chancellor Professor Alan Robson said two winners from UWA "spoke volumes for the calibre of our Medical School."
Ananth Dev Tayal will undertake an MPhil in Engineering for Sustainable Development at Cambridge University in the UK. He intends to explore the relationship between engineering innovation, renewable energy and sustainable development, particularly with respect to problems created by climate change.
"I'd like to position myself to have an understanding about energy policy and play a part in the Asia Pacific region. With the carbon price legislation coming in next year there's a big emphasis on new sustainable technology aligning technical aspects with political and social policy," Ananth said.
"I'd like to combine some of the professional aspects of electrical engineering in Australia with some of experiences in developing countries."
Ananth is president of the Energy Division of Engineers Without Borders in NSW, where he has initiated a remote assistance program for overseas renewable energy projects.
Currently employed by Energy Australia in Sydney, Ananth spent three months at the start of the year volunteering in Laos where he helped to provide solar energy to remote regions.
"In Laos I saw how important government policy is and how Non-Government Organisations and other agencies work together."
In 2009, Dev received an Australian Youth Leadership Scholarship to represent Australia at a conference on future economic development in Delhi, India.
Each year the Menzies Foundation provides scholarships for graduates to pursue studies in the allied health sciences, engineering, law, and medical research, as well as to attend Harvard University.
And UWA graduate Tim Minchin has received a top British theatre award for his West End production Matilda The Musical.
Minchin wrote the score and lyrics for the show based on the Roald Dahl children's book, which was named Best Musical at the 57th London Evening Standard Theatre Awards.
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