Friday, 4 December 2009

An Arts-Law honours student from The University of Western Australia with a strong sense of social responsibility has been named one of Australia's three Rhodes Scholars at Large.

Jessica Panegyres, of East Perth, aims to enrol in a Masters of Philosophy in Politics at the University of Oxford and hopes to become an active contributor to Australian public debate.

"I want to learn what the best minds are saying about the things that matter and bring that knowledge back home," she said.

UWA Vice-Chancellor Professor Alan Robson said Ms Panegyres was an outstanding recipient of the Scholarship.  "She has already made a remarkable contribution to the community and has pursued a wide range of interests outside of her strong academic pursuits," Professor Robson said.

Ms Panegyres, who attended Lesmurdie Senior High School, has won several awards during her UWA studies, including the Serge Ferrier Family Law Prize in 2009, and in 2007 the Rob Riley Prize, the Faculty of Law Book Prize (Legal History) and the Ciara Glennon Memorial Law Scholarship.

She has worked as a volunteer for organisations including the Centre for Advocacy, Support and Education for Refugees, the Deaths in Custody Watch Committee, Unity of First People of Australia, the Red Cross, and the Environmental Defender's Office.  She has also taught English as a second language to Aboriginal children and refugees and has also assisted in providing emergency accommodation for refugees and people with mental illness.

Earlier this month, UWA physics honours student Dustin Stuart won the 2009 Rhodes Scholarship for Western Australia.

Rhodes Scholarships were created under the will of Cecil John Rhodes, the British colonial pioneer and statesman, who died in 1902.  He left the greater part of his fortune to establish the scholarships to study at Oxford, with selection based on qualities of character as well as intellect.  The Rhodes Trust offers 11 Rhodes Scholarships in Australia each year, one for each State and three for Australia at Large.

Media references

Jessica Panegyres  (+61 4) 15 737 169
Janine MacDonald (UWA Public Affairs)  (+61 8)  6488 5563  /  (+61 4) 32 637 716


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