A Law/Economics graduate from The University of Western Australia has won one of three prestigious Australia-at-Large Rhodes Scholarships for 2016.
Ilona Quahe, 24, of Wembley graduated from UWA earlier this year with a Bachelor of Laws (with first class Honours) and Bachelor of Economics. Ms Quahe joins UWA Medical Science graduate Andrés Noé who in October became UWA’s seventh Rhodes Scholar in five years.
Currently working for Teach for Australia as a campus consultant and legal officer for Civic Legal, Ms Quahe, plans to study a MSc in Sociology and Master of Public Policy at Oxford University with the ultimate aim of reducing entrenched disadvantage in Australia through improving educational equality.
“Studying sociology will deepen my understanding of the complex challenge of entrenched social and economic disadvantage, while public policy will give me the skills to devise solutions in the government or NGO sphere,” Ms Quahe said.
“My vision is of an Australia where all children, regardless of their background, have access to a great education and the opportunity to determine their own future.”
The former Shenton College student has held several leadership and volunteer roles, including a school mentor for the Oaktree Foundation, volunteer tutor for Sudanese Australian Integrated Learning, UWA Student Guild councillor, President of United Nations Youth WA and team leader for Perth MYHACK Competition, People Against Violent Extremism.
In 2011, Ms Quahe founded Ignite Mentoring, a charity comprising 90 university student volunteers who support 200 high school students from low socio-economic area schools. Ms Quahe is a member of Perth Global Shapers Hub, where she helps organise student internships with WA not-for-profits through Project Connect.
She was a UWA team member of the 2014 Jessup International Law Moot Court Competition which was placed second in Australia and competed in the international round in Washington DC.
Of the nine Rhodes Scholarships available each year in Australia, each state offers one scholarship that is awarded by a state-based selection committee of seven members (including three Rhodes Scholars). In addition, there are three Australia-at-Large Scholarships awarded by a selection committee based in Canberra.
David Stacey (UWA Media and Public Relations Manager) (+61 8) 6488 3229 / (+61 4) 32 637 716