Two UWA post-graduate students have been awarded a Westpac Future Leaders Scholarship providing up to $120,000 for research or coursework studies.
Dr Hsern Tan, a PhD candidate at the School of Surgery and Amy McDermott, undertaking a Masters of Studies through the Faculty of Education, are from very different undergraduate backgrounds but both share a passion for making a difference in the communities they serve.
Hsern says he will use the scholarship to investigate how to more effectively repair chronic eardrum perforations through the combination of 3D printing technology and optical coherence tomography.
“My research is at an interesting junction between surgery, engineering and imaging science. It is my hope that technologies coming out of this research can further contribute to Australia’s position as an upcoming innovation powerhouse,” he says.
Before embarking on a Masters of Studies, Amy was a primary school teacher passionate about life-long learning.
“Every child in Australia should have access to a high standard, values inclusive education delivered by passionate educators. I want to be proactively involved in ensuring this is delivered.
“With the learnings I take from my Masters I want to help drive social change in Australia through education,” Amy says.
Twenty-two of the prestigious scholarships were awarded to exceptional young Australians from across the country and a key feature of the Future Leaders Scholarship is the Leadership Development Program, developed specifically for the scholars.
“I’m looking forward to the leadership development opportunities I’ll receive outside the classroom. The nine-month program supports you to build on your strengths, develop targeted leadership capabilities, create career pathways and succeed in your field,” Amy says.
Hsern says the Westpac Future Leaders Scholarship development program will expose him to formal leadership training which is vital for his career aspirations.
“Additionally, the ties and networks the Westpac Bicentennial Foundation have with medical technology companies, commercialisation giants and the greater Westpac Scholars network, is an unbeatable resource in itself,” he says.